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Top Questions You Should Ask When Doing Your Bank Comparison

In need of a new bank, learn about the top questions you should be asking when comparing banks. Review the fresh insights article.

There comes a time in the lifecycle of many middle-market companies when they determine that it’s time to look for a new bank.
When this time comes, companies should have a plan in place for how they will conduct their search and what criteria they will use to compare potential new banks to their existing bank – and each other – to help ensure that they make the right choice.




Why Businesses Are Switching Banks

“There are many possible reasons why a business might decide they need a new bank,” says Cadence Bank Senior Vice President Robert R. Curtis.
“It’s not uncommon for businesses seeking a new banking relationship to have fallen into the abyss when it comes to receiving proper service from their current bank,” says Curtis. “Often, they are taken for granted when they have no immediate banking needs.”
Another scenario is when the business has been transferred to a new banking officer who has a large portfolio and doesn’t have enough time to provide personalized service to every client. “Or sometimes a business relationship is transferred to a young and inexperienced banking officer who is ill-prepared to engage with more complex business relationships or sophisticated borrowers,” Curtis adds.
Other times, a business’ banker simply isn’t proactive in offering advice or is not seen by the business as a true ally capable of providing sound business banking guidance. “Many banking institutions have cumbersome products, policies, processes and technology that frustrate clients,” says Curtis. “The fact is some middle-market companies simply outgrow their business bank.”





Devise a Plan and Ask Good Questions

Before beginning a search for a new business bank, you should devise a structured plan for how you will go about the process. Curtis suggests that you start by creating a list of questions to ask prospective new banks, including the following:
• Does your bank have experience in my industry? If so, what are a few examples of this expertise?
• Does the specific banker or banking officer I will be working with have experience in my industry? If so, how much experience and what are some examples?
• How many other businesses in my industry does your bank currently work with?
• Is my industry considered a “preferred industry” within your bank’s culture?
• Do you carefully profile each of your business clients individually to identify what specific banking needs they may have so you can be better prepared to meet them?
• How many other business clients does the banker we’ll be working with currently manage? Will he or she have enough time to provide personalized attention and care to our business?
• Do you actively review each of your business banking relationships on at least a quarterly basis to see if there are any areas where you can improve your service?
• Is your Treasury Management system built with current technology? And how user-friendly is the interface and remote access to the system?
• Do you take a proactive approach with your business customers, treating them more as collaborators than as clients?
• Do you offer a complete array of financial products and services including Trust, Insurance, Investments, Derivatives, International Banking and Foreign Exchange?




A Successful Banking Relationship

So what exactly does a successful business banking relationship look like? Curtis sums it up this way:
“The bank should truly understand the client’s business, be proactive in the management of the relationship, provide appropriate and relative advice, and be seen as a true business cohort,” he says. “If you don’t get the sense in talking to a prospective new bank this is what the relationship is going to look like, then continue your search.”
Read about the importance of your bank’s Treasury Management Officer becoming one of your strategic advisors — another important component of a successful banking relationship.
If you are searching for a new bank, we encourage you to talk to us at Cadence Bank. We would be happy to answer these and any other questions you may have about a business banking relationship with Cadence Bank.
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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