An Interview with Peter Deans, Chief Risk Officer, Bank of Queensland

"There are opportunities right across the board for risk management to increase the use and sophistication of analytics; in fraud risk management, portfolio management, regulatory compliance and consumer and SME loan origination in particular..."

FST Media: What are your business and digital priorities for the next 6 months?

Deans: Rapid advances in technology, changing and increasing customer expectations, as well as the competitive dynamic in the Australian banking industry, is seeing all banks increase their investment in digital channels. At BOQ we believe there is always as better way and we’re well advanced in leveraging new ideas and technologies to deliver better financial products and services to customers. This continues to be one of the main priorities for us at BOQ.  My role is to assist the development and implementation of these initiatives in a sound manner – ensuring risk assessments are completed and the final risk profile of the organisation is within our risk appetite.


FST Media: What role can banks play in helping drive Australia’s competitiveness in finance innovation?

Deans: The Australian banking sector has embraced this period of innovation and change in a positive manner.  I recently spent some time in the US meeting with a variety of financial institutions, venture capital firms and start-ups.  It was pleasing to see a proliferation of Australian entrepreneurs active in the fintech sector in the US.  Like the US, our Australian fintech sector has grown, having been well supported by the banking sector, governments and the broader business community.


FST Media: What are the main Cybersecurity risks in the banking industry at the moment?

Deans: All of the research indicates that email phishing and the installation of malware continue to be among the primary cyber security issues for banks.  Banks are doing well to fend off these attacks and are – on the whole – being successful.


FST Media: How will insight from analytics change risk management by 2018?

Deans: The Risk Management profession has in many respects been in the business of analytics for a couple of decades now.  There are opportunities right across the board for risk management to increase the use and sophistication of analytics; in fraud risk management, portfolio management, regulatory compliance and consumer and SME loan origination in particular.


FST Media: What technology or innovation is proving to be the biggest game changer for the banking industry?

Deans: It is hard to single out any one innovation.  We are now seeing many new ideas and innovations that offer enormous benefits in terms of both the customer experience and cost to service, such as automation of manual processes.


FST Media: How is BOQ responding to the challenges of digital disruption?

Deans: BOQ has invested significant time and resources in understanding the implications of this new era we are in.  We see the lower cost of many new technologies now available allowing us to compete more effectively than in the past.  In addition, being smaller we are also able to respond to changes in markets much quicker. 


FST Media: What specific insight does BOQ bring to banking within Australia?

Deans: BOQ’s aspires to be Australia’s most loved bank.  We pride ourselves on building long-term customer relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding.  Technology is not going to change the customer’s desire to have a relationship with a bank it trusts.    


FST Media: How does BOQ mitigate fraud risks and encourage customers?

Deans: Working closely with BOQs various business partners and vendors, other banks and government agencies is essential.  The banking industry is built on the trust and confidence of its customers and our aim to protect both customer data and deposits from fraud and related risks.


FST Media: What is the next big thing for BOQ and how will you measure its success?

Deans: At BOQ, we’ve been very clear on our strategic direction to investors. Success for us will be the successful implementation of our key strategic priorities – particularly in the digital space and our commitment to supporting customers operating in niche market segments through business banking.    


FST Media: How do you like to spend your free time?

Deans: Having moved from Melbourne to Brisbane for this role about five years ago I am still appreciating the opportunity to spend time at the beach on the Gold Coast and Northern NSW.  The novelty of being able to swim in waters warmer than those in Victoria has still not worn off!




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