Mr Francis joined Heritage in 1990, following eight years with ANZ. Initially a branch manager at Toombul in Brisbane, he spent periods as a business development manager in Brisbane and as the area sales manager on the Gold Coast, before being appointed to his current role of general manager retail in 1997.
He moved to Toowoomba and has spent the last 21 years leading Heritage’s retail operations.
When he became head of retail, Heritage had around $1 billion in assets and 31 branches. During his tenure, that has grown to $9.5 billion in assets and 60 branches.
Mr Francis also helped develop and introduce Heritage’s mortgage broker distribution model, which now sees the bank lending to customers around Australia via a nationwide network of mortgage broker partners.
“It’s been a privilege helping Heritage Bank grow into the vibrant and progressive organisation it has become, now serving customers across Australia from our base in Toowoomba,” Mr Francis said.
“We have an exceptionally strong culture that’s based on a commitment to do the best we can by our customers, above all else. That’s made my role extremely rewarding and I’m pleased to have played a part in Heritage’s evolution into a modern banking institution that’s keeping pace with the changing needs of our customers.”
Heritage CEO Peter Lock paid tribute to Mr Francis’ contribution.
“Paul has done an amazing job leading Heritage’s retail network. He has helped shape and transform Heritage into the bank it is today, instilling the customer-centric focus that has earned us a reputation for service excellence,” Mr Lock said.
“We thank Paul for his stellar contribution to Heritage and wish him and his family all the best in [the] future.”
Mr Francis will step down this Friday, 20 April.
Heritage’s current chief operating officer, Kevin Potter, will take over responsibility for the bank’s retail network with his appointment into the newly renamed role of chief customer officer.
Mr Potter joined Heritage early last year, after a 25-year career in the financial services sector at Suncorp and NAB, including extensive experience in managing retail distribution functions.