Bank of Queensland has taken immediate steps to change a ‘discriminatory’ policy after it was heavily criticised by customers and federal Agriculture Minister, Senator Bridget McKenzie. The original policy outlined the bank could deny loans to gun shop employees, with BoQ claiming it wanted to avoid engagement with businesses which could be linked to crime.
Shooting sports supporter Senator McKenzie labelled the policy “virtue signalling” and wrote to the bank’s chief executive officer, George Frazis, complaining about the policy on behalf of the firearms industry. After pressure from many SSAA members and Senator McKenzie, the bank today told the SSAA it has started changing its policies.
Bank of Queensland said in a statement: “Please be assured BoQ respects the role licensed firearms dealers and their employees play in supporting communities and the economy. We have already commenced changing our policies to ensure we are able to offer our services to employees of licensed firearms dealers and all legalised industries in Australia.”
The bank’s u-turn may have come too late however, as several SSAA members have already indicated they’re looking to take their banking business elsewhere.