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BoQ seeks converts as Home name goes

Brisbane-based Bank of Queensland Ltd (BoQ) will be looking for as many as 30 people with banking experience to take on former Home Building Society Ltd branches as it sets about converting its newly purchased Western Australian operations into franchises.

BoQ already has six franchised branches operating under its banner in WA and is expecting convert the Home branches it bought with a takeover of the listed entity late last year, depending on their geographic fit under the merger.

BoQ CEO David Liddy said the bank's franchise model, which he claimed was unique, had allowed it to outperform rivals.

The bank has 147 franchised branches in Queensland and a further 40 company owned outlets.

Mr Liddy said franchisees were typically former bankers whose initial commitment involved the cost associated with new premises in the case of a greenfields site, and then operating on a revenue sharing basis that included a commission per transaction.

He said that, before the acquisition of Home, BoQ had been looking at adding as many as 20 new branches.

Mr Liddy said those plans were being revised due to the takeover, but the bank still expected to add additional branches in WA.

The Queensland operation also announced this week that from next month it would drop the Home brand and trade as BoQ in WA.

Mr Liddy said the newly merged group needed to operate under one strong brand if it was to become a real alternative to major banks in WA.

He said the membershipbased backgrounds of the two organisations meant that customer service remained a strength for the combined entity in the competitive banking market.

Home was established in Fremantle in 1946, as a limited partnership of 10 local businessmen.

It was listed in early 2002 and last year merged with StateWest Credit Society Ltd to form the biggest locally owned bank, with a market share of around 5 per cent in WA.

Home had more than 110,000 customers with total customer funds under management of over $3.5 billion.

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