by Bob Kettenmann, President of DR Bank
When everything is going well you probably don’t give much thought to where you are doing your banking. It often takes a disruptive economic event, like the current pandemic, to move this issue to the top of your list. Whether you are a consumer or operate a business, it’s certainly worth thinking about.
The recent SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is good example of this. Over the past several months, this program has provided $520 billion in loans to 4.8 million businesses resulting in 51 million jobs being preserved. About 5,400 banks participated in this program and about 3,500 of those banks were under $1 billion in total assets – true community banks. These banks, including DR Bank, provided access to this critical program to thousands of clients who could not negotiate the process at large banks.
As you think about your business banking relationship, it’s not the size of the bank that should be at the forefront of the issue. In fact, there are many fine community banks that are well over $1 billion in terms of asset size. Your primary concern should be how the bank conducts its business. Here are several items to consider:
Your relationship manager should be a banking professional – not a salesperson.
Executive management – the decision makers should know who you are.
You should know the staff at the branch where your account is housed, even if you do not visit often.
The bank should have a track record of working with customers in difficult times.
Today it is safe to assume that most banks will offer the products and services that you need to run your business and that it will likely be at a competitive price. The real differentiators are the bank’s understanding of your business and how the relationship is managed.
DR Bank is a commercial bank headquartered in Darien, CT. We have a commercial client base that extends throughout the tri-state area. Our lending operation is staffed by experienced credit professionals. We are comfortable with large, complex credits that many small banks will not consider. Most importantly, you will always have the opportunity to talk to a real live banker when you need one. As a business, your success is built on knowing your customers – it’s no different with our banking business.