BOQ has announced the expansion of its distribution footprint through the acquisition of Virgin Money (Australia) Pty Ltd (VMA), which the lender says is a reinforcement of its intention to re-enter the broker market.
The acquisition delivers BOQ exclusive Australian rights to the Virgin Money. Initially, the licence from the Virgin Group will be for retail financial services for consumers and SMEs, with provisions to expand into corporate financial services.
However, broker scepticism around the lender has remained heavy since BOQ pulled out of the market during the GFC – but BOQ spokesperson, Jamin Smith, tells Australian Broker it’s time to move on.
“We understand that some brokers may have this view. The reality is that the global financial crisis challenged the regional bank sector, particularly in relation to their ability to access affordable funding, and some very difficult strategic decisions had to be made – we find that most market participants appreciate this.”
Furthermore, Smith says BOQ’s current management team is committed to providing customer choice and notes that the mortgage broker market is an important part of this.