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  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) continues to warn investors of a difficult period ahead
  • At the bank’s latest annual general meeting, it reiterated the impact of lowered cash earnings and a difficult climate in the banking world
  • Freshly elected Chief Executive George Frazis said the company was on track for a strategic review in an effort to lift profitable growth
  • The bank also told shareholders it was on top of anti-money law concerns in relation to Westpac’s monumental gaff which saw Brian Hartzer step down
  • Shares in top-200 BOQ are trading 1.34 per cent lower today, for $7.35 per share

Bank of Queensland’s (BOQ) latest annual general meeting fell flat as group executives warned of a tough banking climate.

The meeting was a first for new Chief Executive George Frazis and Chairman Patrick Allaway — who was at the forefront of depicting the bleak outlook.

“We are now operating in a low growth part of the cycle with rising investment needs, increased regulatory and compliance costs, declining margins, accelerating industry disruption and competition, and heightened community expectations,” Patrick Allaway said.

“We are anticipating this backdrop to be the new operating norm for the sector in the medium term.”

These statements come off the heels of BOQ’s 14 per cent cash drop and underperforming 2019 Financial Year.

Chief Executive George Frazis said the company is on track for a strategic review to address these concerns.

“We are very aware that we need to move quickly to return the company to sustainable and profitable growth,” he said.

“Whilst there are a number of foundational investments already underway, building an organisation that is innovative, nimble and one that makes banking easy for our customers, will take time.”

The bank already confirmed earlier in October that the 2020 Financial Year will continue to be difficult — warning for a lower performance than the previous period’s $320 million cash earning.

This outlook was once again reiterated at this week’s general meeting.

“We are already taking decisive actions to improve financial performance on both revenue, costs and capital,” George said.

“BOQ fundamentally is a good business with a sound platform for differentiation. Investments are underway.”

Following AUSTRAC suit

The Westpac breaches saga continues, as BOQ confirmed at the annual meeting it was on top of any anti-money laundering breaches.

The 140-branch bank said it was strengthening its protections in place, and has no knowledge of any non-reporting at this moment in time — the issue which was the downfall to Westpac leader Brian Hartzer.

“All of our international payments are processed through the SWIFT payment network and therefore have the appropriate monitoring and reporting attached to them,” George Frazis said.

Shares in top-200 BOQ are trading 1.34 per cent lower today, for $7.35 per share.

BOQ by the numbers
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