January 01, 2014

About the Author

Many of our clients express this sentiment about their bank, whether they have been in a long term or short term relationship. Based on discussions with friends and relatives, many business owners believe that the grass is greener at another bank because “their brother-in-law/neighbour/work-out buddy” has a better interest rate, no personal guarantee and a greater line of credit.

For several reasons, we believe that a business owner who is concerned about his or her banking relationship needs to first explore why there is an issue with the current bank before moving to another bank. It could be a lack of timely communication with the existing bank that is causing the lack of understanding of corporate needs; moving to another bank costs time and money and once the “new client acquisition” stage wears off with the new bank, the same issues may exist. Our advice is to fully explore the existing relationship before considering a move to a new banking relationship.

So, that leads to the question: How do I work with my existing bank when it doesn’t understand/support/give me what I need?

Here are a few ideas that we have had success with:

  • Communicate regularly with your bank and make sure your banking professionals understand your business opportunities and challenges.
  • Avoid surprises. Make sure your banker is aware of any issues you may have and how these issues could impact cash flow.
  • Provide detailed projections including covenant calculations to understand where you are at with your bank and demonstrate to your bank that you comprehend your covenants. Furthermore, when formulating forecasts, it is always best to under promise and over deliver. Your bank relies on you as the manager and trust will be built based upon your ability to deliver on what you forecasted.
  • Make sure you have sufficient lead time to request additional financing and provide a complete professional package to your banker as if you are a new customer. This simplifies the approval process for your banker and speeds up your timeline.

The next time you want to say: “My bank doesn’t understand my business”, you need to ask yourself: Do I fully understand where my business is at, and have I properly explained my business to my banker?

Acumen guides corporations that need to enhance their banking relationships. We work to enhance reporting, aggressively optimize financing structure and provide a professional package to raise further financing.

Author Information

This article was written by Anita Wortzman of Acumen Corporate Development, a strategic partner of TDS Law. The original article can be found on the Acumen Website.

This article is presented for informational purposes only. The content does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor client relationship. The views expressed are solely the authors’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), its affiliate companies or its clients. The authors make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to via this article. The authors are not able to provide free legal advice. If you are seeking advice on specific matters, please contact Keith LaBossiere, CEO & Managing Partner at kdl@tdslaw.com, or 204.934.2587. Please be aware that any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

While care is taken to ensure the accuracy for the purposes stated, before relying upon these articles, you should seek and be guided by legal advice based on your specific circumstances. We would be pleased to provide you with our assistance on any of the issues raised in these articles.