BOQ has offered $4.37 and 0.748 of its shares for each Bendigo share, which the Bendigo board is currently considering.
Should the deal go through, it would create the fifth-largest bank in terms of retail branches in the fast-growing Australian market and cut costs by an estimated $56 million annually.
Under the terms of the merger both brands would be maintained, with Bendigo's community-owned banks set to co-exist with BOQ's franchise model.
David Liddy told Australian news provider ABC: "The landscape's changing, it's becoming far more competitive and it's going to be difficult I think for small players to stand alone.
"We both have very, very good product offerings and exceptional service and I think bringing the two together and gaining the scale benefits that we'll achieve will make us a real force in Australian banking and clearly a big alternative to the majors," he added.
Since news of the merger broke yesterday shares in Bendigo have risen 29 per cent.