A regional bank has pointed to its broker distribution strategy to explain the bank's decision to invest $15 million in an organisational restructure.
In a statement on the ASX website this week, BOQ managing director and chief executive Jon Sutton said the bank will look at "reducing duplication and manual processes" throughout its organisational structure.
A BOQ spokesperson confirmed that the restructure could include a reduction in headcount at the bank.
However, the spokesperson added the bank’s decision to refocus on mortgage broking has required additional resources.
“We’re a much bigger organisation than we were three years ago,” a BOQ spokesperson said. “We’ve grown by acquisition, but also we’ve expanded into new business channels, and mortgage broking is an example of that.
“We got back into the mortgage broking market in 2012 after not being there for 10 years. That’s an example of where the organisation has had to scale up and create a lot of new jobs, and as part of that investment in growth over the last few years.”
BOQ left the third-party channel in the early 2000s under a different management team, when a decision was made to focus solely on an owner/manager branch model.
“But when the management changed around about 2012 and they stepped back and they had a look at the business model and they had a look at some of the challenges that the bank had then, they decided that they wanted to make it easier for customers to interact with the bank the way they wanted to,” a BOQ spokesperson said.
“Part of that was increasing our distribution model – so it wasn’t just owner/manager branches but also online, through mortgage brokers and all those sorts of things."
In a trading update this week, BOQ said the changes will cost the bank $15 million over the 2016 full-year period, which ends on 31 August 2016. The expense will not be excluded from cash earnings in the current financial year, according to the statement.
"We expect this investment in fine-tuning our operating model will help accelerate our path towards a cost-to-income ratio in the low 40 per cent range in the years ahead," BOQ CEO Jon Sutton said.
BOQ's cost-to-income ratio for the 2015 full year was 46 per cent.
[Related: BOQ appoints new broker head]
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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