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Take Charge of Your Banking Destiny

The events of the last few months have only underscored the importance of working with a bank that believes in your business and is responsive to your needs. With the future uncertain and the Atlanta banking industry in flux, this is the ideal moment to determine if your bank is delivering the combination of services, resources and relationships your company requires, not simply to weather the current crisis but to emerge from it as a leaner, more nimble organization.

 

This is not the time to sit on the sidelines and let events limit your options. By acting proactively and putting your banking relationships under the microscope, you may discover that your company has more opportunities than you may have imagined.

 

Determining Your Fit

Relationships with banks — like all relationships — have the potential to grow stale over time. The following questions can help companies determine if their banking relationships are still vital or whether it is time to move on:

 

  • Services. Does your bank offer the full suite of financial solutions—from term loans and lines of credit to capital market services and swaps—that can help you develop your business today and far into the future? Does it consider creative solutions when structuring a credit? Has it kept up with technology advances that are revolutionizing treasury management? Does it offer a complete array of treasury services, from lockbox and virtual vault to electronic invoice presentment and payment?
  • Resources. Does the bank have the financial capacity to support you as you grow? Do its bankers possess in-depth knowledge of your industry? Do they bring you new ideas that help you build your business?
  • Relationships. Does your bank provide you with the same level of customer service and responsiveness that it did in the past? Have you gone through a series of relationship managers? Does your banker check in on a regular basis, or do you have to reach out? And when you call, do you get the assistance you need when you need it?

 

If your current bank falls short, it’s time to find a better fit. Start by talking to everyone in your network — attorneys, business peers and financial consultants. When you hear about a bank that values relationships over individual transactions, that offers customized solutions rather than cookie-cutter approaches, that provides advice and insight rather than just data, it is worth a look. Most importantly, give yourself the time to make a thoughtful choice.

 

Making the Switch

Finding a bank that’s a better fit only creates the possibility of a more productive banking relationship. To reap the benefits, businesses have to commit the time and resources to make the transition. Inertia is the most common reason that companies stay with banks they have outgrown.

 

It is critical, therefore, that in addition to desirable services, resources and relationships, your new bank have a dedicated transition team with the expertise to make the changeover as smooth as possible. Your new bank should be able to provide:

 

  • A Switch Kit. This should include a checklist of information you need to gather to establish new accounts, a worksheet to help you track the progress of the implementation, and templates for notifying vendors, suppliers, payroll service suppliers and others about your new banking relationship.
  • Technical Know-How. Your new bank should provide the expertise to help you integrate its treasury management system with your existing accounting and ERP systems as well as migration to online banking and electronic services.
  • Employee Training. The more familiar your employees are with the capabilities of your new online banking and treasury management system, the more benefits you’ll gain. Thorough training and clear documentation can make a real difference.
  • Ongoing Monitoring. Even with the most careful implementation, there is the potential for glitches. By keeping close tabs on your new system, your new bank can address issues as they arise while looking for opportunities to fine-tune and sharpen your system as time goes on.

 

Changing banks should involve more than moving accounts, however. It is an opportunity for businesses to review their financial operations, streamline and integrate processes, and take advantage of new technology and tools like procurement cards that optimize cash flow and increase control.

 

Accordingly, the final item in your checklist when choosing a new bank — but not the least important — is whether the banking team has the expertise to play a consultative role, bringing new ideas and fresh thinking to the table. Moving to a new bank is not simply a matter of finding a better solution to your capital needs. It is an occasion to move your company to the next level of financial sophistication and control that will pave the way for future growth.

 

 

 

This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

 

 



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