How long has your business been with the same bank?
Two years? Five? 10? Maybe even longer?
Chances are that you’ve been with the same bank for however long your business has been open.
A survey by smallbusiness.co.uk shows that more than half of SMEs have never switched banks at all. Fourteen percent switched more than six years ago, and two percent can’t even remember…
Just 11% switched between 1-3 years ago.
Now, perhaps you’re wondering why that matters.
In my experience, most business owners never give their bank a second thought. They just don’t see why the bank you’re with makes a difference to your financial situation…
…Until, that is, something goes horribly wrong.
That might be something completely outside your control, for example your bank is at risk of failing – putting your own funds in danger. That was the situation of many businesses in the past few weeks, as it looked like Metro Bank might run out of funds. (It eventually raised £350 million and seems safe for now.)
Or perhaps you have a financial challenge and urgently need your bank’s help. For example you might need access to finance in order to grow, or require your bank’s understanding as you encounter financially tough times.
I’ve also seen businesses inadvertently locked out of their accounts, or dealing with suspected fraud or a huge banking mistake, who need to reach someone in their bank urgently.
In all of these examples, it absolutely matters which bank you’re with.
When dealing with these situations, you are desperate for help and do not want to be stuck talking to a call centre. The person on the other end of the line simply won’t have the authority to give you the help you need, certainly not in the time frame you need. This can not only be very frustrating, but hobble your business in its hour of greatest need.
You need a relationship with an account manager who knows you and your business, and who can deal with you personally.
And you also need to make sure that the services your bank offers are both appropriate to your needs and cost-effective. Especially now that interest rates are higher, if you have any deposits you’ll also want to ensure that the rate you’re offered is as high as possible.
In short, your bank matters, and you should not be stuck with a bank simply because you chose it a decade ago, and stayed because of inertia.
The banking industry is evolving all the time and there can be significant differences in the access you get to managers, the online interface they use with customers, the kind of help and advice they offer your business, the rates you receive for your savings and much more.
I encourage you to think carefully about whether your current bank is right for you, and to look at other options if the answer is ‘no’.
And if this is an area where you would like some help, please do come to us.
When we work with you, we think carefully about your relationship with your bank, because we know how critical it is to smooth financial management. Not only can we help you pick the right bank for your needs, we can help create useful relationships with an account manager and liaise with them when necessary.
It’s all part of our outsourced financial management service, where we take a hands-on approach to handling your finances – working with you on a daily basis to improve your profitability and help you grow faster.
Then email email@example.com or call us on 01279 647 447 to arrange a no-obligation chat about your company’s financial management needs – and how we can help you.