LOCAL banking team David Thomson and Matthew Irwin have taken a brave step and have purchased their own bank branch.
The pair have worked together locally in banking for four years and have now bought the Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Byron Bay branch. David and Matthew are now operating the branch as owner-managers.
Matthew, a Byron Bay local, said it was the service and community focus which attracted him to the Bank’s Owner Managed Branch model.
‘Having grown up in the local area, I have seen first hand how Byron and the surrounding townships have grown and developed in to a really unique community,’ he said. ‘I think we offer the best of both worlds, because we have a laid-back approach to life that is very attractive to tourists, but we’ve also retained our community values. It’s a fine line and I think most local tourism operators are to be commended for their balanced approach.
Matthew said it was not just tourism that kept Byron Bay alive. He said it was the small business operators, across a wide range of industries, that give Byron the character and spirit that made the town so popular.
‘David and I can offer local business operators a really unique service, because not only can we offer them finance, but as business owners ourselves we really appreciate the challenges and opportunities specific to running a small business,’ he said.
‘It gives us a really unique perspective in terms of working with small business operators to help them grow their business.’
David agreed, saying the Byron Bay business community had come a long way since he first moved to the area six years ago.
‘I’ve seen real changes in the local area and believe that Matt and I can offer Byron business operators a combination of personal service, support and business finance that our competitors can’t match,’ he said. And of course it’s not just businesses we can help. We will offer personal customers BOQ’s competitive product range, but with the personal service that comes from owning our own branch and running our own business.
‘At the end of the day, if our customers aren’t happy, they’ll take their business elsewhere and, as every small business operator knows, no business can survive without customers.
‘So we will go above and beyond to make sure our customers are not just happy, but are actually referral sources for our branch.’
Matthew and David are both active in the local community, with rugby and cricket being two of their passions. ‘We both believe that the Byron community offers something unique in terms of community spirit and a sense of working together,’ David said.
‘We have something great to offer the local community and we know the community gets behind locals to get in and give it their best shot, so we’re confident that our BOQ branch will continue to grow and succeed. So drop in and see us at the branch.
We’d be more than happy to sit down and have a chat, and talk about how we can best meet your banking needs.’