A personal relationship with one’s bank and banking officials can have significant advantages to cost savings, financing activities and financial goals. The reason this is so is because human nature tends to favor familiarity. This is evident in cultures across the world and in human history. Tribes, clans and affiliations create an ethos of trust, however small that is less likely to be present with unfamiliarity.
This same trust and familiarity can and does affect banking relationships in some instances. This article will discuss some of the benefits that may be obtainable from a strong banking relationship in addition to illustrating how a banking relationship can be improved and providing tips to consider when establishing or building a banking relationship.
BENEFITS OF BANKING RELATIONSHIPS:
While not all banks will consider a banking relationship to be worthy of extra benefits, some do consider factors of the relationship to be worth consideration. A few of the advantages one might find with one’s bank are 1) negotiating influence 2) improved credit rating and/or credit review by the bank and 3) extra consideration for loans and loan refinancing.
If one has a strong banking relationship with one’s bank this may allow one to hold sway when negotiable charges and fees are applied to one’s account(s). For example, checking accounts with overdraft protection may still charge a fee for the overdraft service. This fee may be negotiable especially if one is familiar with and on good terms with one’s bank. One may also be able to expedite processing of loan applications and/or adjustment of loan payment dates through a strong banking relationship.
Another area of influence clients with good banking relationships may have clout is in the provision of services. Clients after all are the bank’s business and pleasing the bank’s clients is simply good business practice. The stronger the banking relationship, the more likely banks and/or bank officials may be willing to go the extra mile to please the client. For example, banking products may be adjusted or redesigned to meet client’s or groups of clients specific needs or free services may be added to the banking line of products.
A strong credit rating comes about from good financial management and not a banking relationship. However, a relationship with one’s bank may provide additional assistance in achieving a higher credit rating in addition to potential grace periods before reporting late payments to credit agencies. Furthermore, when applying for loans, a bank may overlook minor aspects of one’s credit history and/or rating that other banks without which one has a banking relationship may consider as a negative factor in one’s applications and/or delivery of banking services.
Obtaining Loans and Refinancing:
When one has a good relationship with one’s bank, this creates potential to positively influence one’s loan applications and refinancing. In other words, banks and bank officials often have a lot of paperwork to process, phone calls to make, accounts to balance, credit reports to review etc. This can cause loan application processing to be slowed and sometimes even stalled as banks too have limited financing capacity. In the presence of stalwart banking relationship, bankers and/or loan officers may be more inclined to expedite or speed processing and consideration of loan applications. The same principle may hold true for loan refinancing applications, and mortgages. Moreover, the more complex the banking activity is, the greater the potential a banking relationship has in the process.
Financial Planning and Advice:
Knowing and being familiar with one’s bank and bank officials can also yield complimentary products and/or services. For example, one may obtain free financial advice that would otherwise be unmentioned or overlooked as relevant. Also, when a banking relationship is present, one may receive better service that can include financial planning or advice regarding banking products. A bank may also be more willing to be objective and honest about certain negative aspects of banking and bank products if a banking relationship involving some trust is present.
HOW TO ESTABLISH A BANKING RELATIONSHIP:
To establish a banking relationship one might consider the things that make most relationships more functional. Things like respect, loyalty, and honesty can all be translated into the building of a banking relationship. For example, not switching banks every year despite potential better benefits at another bank. Moreover, if one has a good relationship with one’s bank, simply pointing out the other banks benefits my cause one’s own bank to reconsider certain products and/or terms of agreement.
Other ways to build a banking relationship include paying bills on time, going into the bank occasionally to perform transactions rather than using the ATM, chatting with bank managers and utilizing multiple banking services and loans. Banks favor clients with good account history, sound banking practices, and reliance on the bank for multiple banking needs. These things demonstrate a willingness to work with the bank for more than just basic banking needs over time. Since banks are also businesses, clients who use more products are also more likely to be considered “good customers”, which can influence bank relationships.
TIPS TO CONSIDER IN BANKING RELATIONSHIPS:
Not all banks are the same and therefore, banking relationships can differ from bank to bank and in some cases be non-existent. For these reasons, it may be a good idea to consider various aspects of banks and banking relationship in order to maximize the potential benefits of that relationship. A few factors that one might consider are as follows:
*Bank size: The bigger the bank, the more difficult it may be to establish a personal relationship. This is so as volume of clients and paperwork can have a depersonalizing effect on the banking experience.
*Reputation of the Bank: Some banks may be more likely to consider client relationships relevant and important. Knowing a banks reputation can help one assess whether or not a bank is worth building a relationship with.
*Products and Services: Banks with personalized banking products may be more likely to demonstrate interest in client relationships. Furthermore, bank managers and staff that take client’s needs into account when giving financial advice or offering financial services may be more in tune with the idea of banking relationships.
*Staffing and Turnover: If a bank has a high turnover or staffing changes, there may be internal problems or lack of concern for relationships within the bank. Banking turnover statistics can be obtained from observing the bank over time, directly from the bank or from online banking references.
*Location of Bank: The location of a bank can also help one determine how a banking relationship might turn out. If the bank is located in a busy downtown metropolitan area, it may be more difficult or take longer to become acquainted with banks located in quieter, less busy parts of town.
To summarize, banking relationships have potential to exiting and future clients for several reasons. This article has discussed some potential benefits of banking relationships in addition to providing ways a banking relationship may be established and tips to consider when building a banking relationship. As with all relationships, banking relationships are not carved in stone and are subject to variability, non-existence and other factors. Nevertheless, the little effort that may be expended to foster a banking relationship may be worthwhile in terms of banking products and services, and overall banking experience which is often important to banks and clients of banks.