For your Southern California business — whatever your industry segment, size or growth trajectory — you want to be able to count on your bank. That’s because trust is the most essential part of customers’ relationships with their primary financial institution, according to research from Phoenix Synergistics . Taking second place is “excellent service” — such as a banker who picks up the phone when you contact them.
If you’re unsure whether your current banking relationship is working for you, consider these four key elements.
1. Does my bank value my business — and show it?
Plenty of banks send out a signed holiday card to their business customers. But if your bank touts “relationship banking,” do they put their money where their marketing is? A real relationship bank provides you with a single point of contact, preferably right here in Southern California, especially if your business deals with local customers. That one person or team should always respond promptly to your calls, emails or texts to provide the answers you need on your timeline.
2. How much do I trust my bank?
Has your bank earned your loyalty by delivering on the trust factor? Your business likely has trusted advisors such as an accountant or lawyer. Does your banker fall into the same category? Ideally, you should have confidence in your bank’s great reputation in the marketplace. And you should feel certain that your banker only suggests products or services that benefit you, not the other way around.
3. Does my bank tailor lending and treasury management solutions to me?
Plenty of businesses begin the hunt for a new bank when seeking a new loan or a different loan structure. But it makes sense to think about both sides of the ledger. The best business bank for you should also offer ways to improve your cash flow cycle from month to month, such as innovative banking technology and other smart treasury management tools and solutions. And a strong business bank should recommend a made-to-measure strategy to enhance your approach to cash management — one that you can reassess together from time to time.
4. Is my banker knowledgeable about my business?
Of course, your banker should have banking expertise in your particular industry or business segment. As well, your bank should demonstrate a real interest in your company. A good banker will get to know your business and how it operates — your challenges and the unique factors that affect your revenue. That way, they can suggest ways to make the most of your opportunities. If you’re the only one asking the questions, you probably aren’t getting the most from your banking relationship.
If your answers to these questions were “yes,” it’s likely your bank has earned the trust you give it. If not, it’s worth your while to explore a better banking relationship. Learn more about the expert business bankers at Torrey Pines Bank.