Continuous focus on asset quality and cost controlling measures: Recently, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has downgraded its long-term credit rating of Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-’ as part of a downgrade of ratings on 23 Australian financial institutions, while maintaining a stable outlook. However, BOQ has a significantly lower level of exposure to the Sydney and Melbourne property markets than many other industry participants and the bank’s loan book has performed well in the central Queensland and northern WA. During H1FY17, BOQ has faced several industry headwinds including low credit growth and intense competition for both loans and deposits. This has placed increasing pressure on Banks revenue and margins. Despite the tough operating environment, banks focus on asset quality and expense management coupled with growth in lending segment is expected to deliver earnings growth in FY17.