Banking & Finance

Why it Pays to Know Your Banker

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Families and businesses have come to rely on the local focus of community banking, but is it really worth it to build a relationship with your community banker?

Without question, forming a relationship with your local banker has its benefits. Once a bond of trust is established, a customer is much less likely to experience one-size-fits-all service. With a banker who knows the particulars of your financial situation, your banking experience may include negotiable fees, better lending rates and a better selection of banking products. In other words, a relationship with your banker sometimes triggers a deeper commitment to service specifically tailored to your unique financial needs and goals.

Well-Informed Counseling

The perks don’t stop at favors in terms of better rates, negotiable fees or a customized selection of banking products – though these can be huge highlights. A relationship with your banker often also means well-informed financial counseling tailored to your particular financial situation.

Consider that a healthy banking relationship results in favorable financial insight into ways to avoid risks and financial harm unique to your particular situation or life experience. That means fewer losses and setbacks and an extra lifeline of support in difficult times. It may even mean a sound heads-up when trouble is brewing on the financial landscape and reliable alerts to warnings signs that could negatively affect your particular financial aspirations.

Also, consider the one-stop-shop factor. With a banker on your side who is well abreast of your unique financial situation, your financial counseling, services and banking needs can each be streamlined in a way that conveniently accommodates your lifestyle and adjusts to lifestyle changes seamlessly.

Tailored Customer Engagement

From the banker’s perspective, a unique understanding of the local landscape and its nuances affords a consultative approach. This often means that the banker is skilled at going beyond financial metrics and can understand the dynamic concerns of each individual customer. It’s quite different from big banks that tend to lend more focus to the bottom line.

Community banks often intentionally put customer relationships first and foremost. This type of tailored customer engagement ultimately means learning how individuals spend and use income. Based on that information, relationship banking crafts targeted advice and suggestions to help customers meet present and future financial goals.

The bank is in a better position to understand a customer’s specific desires and wishes, resulting in better customer retention in the long term. The customer in return receives handpicked essentials as well as customized suggestions that may not at first be on the customer’s radar. To be sure, such insider and personalized information is not without regulation. Bankers must adhere to special rules designed to ensure trust and safety in the financial industry. However, beyond that, the sky’s the limit for what a solid relationship with your banker can achieve.

So what’s the best way to establish a valuable relationship with your community banker? The most essential quality of all healthy relationships is communication. Two-way conversations and professional courtesy provide a firm foundation for conveying information to your banker that could lead to a better overall banking experience. Also, consistency is best. Whether you make an annual effort or prefer face-to-face quarterly meetings, touching base regularly is essential.

Genuine Relationship Banking

Customers can truly benefit from community banking, but only when they put a banker’s local expertise to good use through genuine relationship. Relationship banking is at its best when both parties are genuinely interested in moving financial goals forward and increasing overall financial security. In a world where huge multinational banks are devoting more and more time to big spenders, a solid relationship with your local community banker just may be the advantage you need.