Valley First

Five signs your bank just isn’t that into you

Reality bites: Valley First expert shares five signs your bank just isn’t that into you

Just like the dating world, where men and women have a seemingly endless pool of potential mates to choose from, so too do small business owners when it comes to choosing their financial institution of choice.

Some choose a big bank while others opt for their local credit union. Whatever your preference, Shannon Stewart, a commercial banking expert at Valley First advises one thing should remain constant: “You should always feel like you’re a priority in the relationship and that your business is valued.”

Stewart points to the recent hubbub surrounding HSBC’s decision to end banking relationships with select small business banking accounts as a prime example.

“No one should feel like they’re getting the brush-off from their financial institution,” says Stewart. “At Valley First, we believe small businesses form the backbone of our communities and we welcome anyone who’s looking to make the switch to Valley First. In fact, we’re offering three months free access to our Unlimited Chequing for Business Account and one free order of business cheques as an added incentive.”

Beyond feeling valued, Stewart shares some tips on how you can proactively gauge whether your financial institution is in it with you for the long haul.

Jumping straight to the good night kiss

“Just like any successful relationship, taking the time to get to know one another is so important,” says Stewart. “Your account manager should want to really understand your business and what drives you to succeed. That’s the only way we can better understand how to help you realize your dreams and how we can get you there financially.”

Not just a casual fling

“I always try to support my members’ business by becoming their customer and showing my appreciation for them outside of my work,” says Stewart. “I know this doesn’t go unnoticed as I often hear my business clients tell me how much they appreciate my support and how their previous financial institution rarely did that for them.”

Doing the long-distance thing

“Long-distance relationships are tough,” says Stewart, “and that goes for the one you have with your bank, too. Consider the distance a decision needs to go for approval—does your request need to go back east for approval at the big bank’s head office? Or, maybe your account manager just needs to walk down the hall to secure approval at your local credit union.

“At Valley First, our local leadership and local expertise gives us an advantage to make informed and timely decisions and act quickly. As the saying goes, ‘time is money’ and when we’re able to save our business clients’ time from having to wait for answers, we know we’re making a difference.”

All you do is give, give, give

ATM fees, overdraft fees, debit card fees. Small business owners everywhere know what it is like to get dinged with charges and fees for their everyday banking transactions.

“Instead of sticking their hand out to collect your monthly transaction fees, your financial institution should be looking for ways to help save you money. For example, I regularly follow-up with our business members to make sure their accounts are working for them. If I find they’re not making use of certain features of their existing account, or overusing another feature, I suggest other accounts that may be a better fit.”

The cold shoulder

“Regardless of what financial institution you bank with, you should always feel like you and your business are a priority,” says Stewart. “If your account manager starts avoiding you or is taking a long time to return your calls or emails, it can be a sign that you’re getting the brush-off. Generally speaking, financial institutions don’t play hard to get—if they want you as a customer, they will work hard to seal the deal and do their best to keep you happy.”


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