Brokers will remain “extremely important” to the broader BOQ group as it looks to grow its portfolio of mortgages and direct digital mortgage offerings next month, CEO said

On Monday 22 February, the Bank of Queensland (BOQ) announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Members Equity Bank Ltd (ME Bank) for 1 USD325 billion

Under the proposed deal, which is expected to end by mid-year (subject to regulatory approvals), ME Bank’s name and offering would continue as a separate brand

This would mean that BOQ Group would be made up of three brands: BOQ, ME Bank and Virgin Money

Currently about a third of BOQ loans come from brokers, while 75% of ME Bank loans are underwritten by brokers and almost all Virgin Money loans come from third parties

As such, BOQ Managing Director and CEO George Frazis told the advisor the broker channel was “extremely important” for the group

Speaking to the advisor following the announcement, Mr. Frazis said: “We will expand our accreditation with brokers where appropriate It’s a channel that we love, it’s a channel that we really support and it’s extremely important to our three brands “

He later said: “If you think of what is really going to drive our growth in the future, it will be to continue to provide incredible service to our third party brokers and aggregators.”

The CEO added that it was “really important” for the group to “help more Australians get home,” adding that the three brands offer “different segments of the Australian economy in this choice”

He said: “If we think about how we actually approach them, these different segments have different needs

“So yes, at BOQ it takes more of a personal touch, and that’s why we have our owner-manager branches, which are really important, but we also distribute through brokers, and that is happening good

“Virgin Money is purely brokerage at this stage and, as you know, ME mainly goes through the broker channel This importance will continue”

However, M Frazis said the group had not yet “tapped into the digital channel”, revealing that Virgin Money will launch a direct mortgage offering on the new Temenos platform next month, as the brand continues to reposition itself as that digital bank

M Frazis said the new digital offering would be made available through a “new state-of-the-art mobile banking application” which would allow the group to then provide “services via a digital channel to all [its] customers. segments ”

“This is going to be the basic banking platform for all of retail banking. It is designed to be multi-brand, so over time this is another channel that we can provide to each of these customers who choose to do banking transactions with ME Bank or Virgin Money, so we are very excited about that, ”he said

In addition to writing about the Australian brokerage industry, mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the broader credit landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and webcasts. The Adviser Live

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Brokers will remain “extremely important” to the larger BOQ group as it seeks to grow

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