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Get to Know Your Relationship Manager

M Mallaber
Michael Mallaber
Senior Vice President, Director of Commercial Services
[email protected]
(585) 419-0670 x50649

In a general sense, lending commonly boils down to credit risk. Banks typically charge higher interest rates if they perceive a borrower has greater risk of default. When risk is anticipated to be too high, banks might not originate or renew a loan at all. By establishing regular communications with your lender or Relationship Manager, you have the opportunity to truly educate them about your business. This is just one way to avoid misunderstandings about perceived risks within your business. 

Establishing and maintaining a strong cohesive relationship with your lender can inspire confidence in your business and help increase availability of capital when needed. Proper relationship management is critical to keeping you and your business in a position to gain assistance from your lender when it is needed the most. 

Here are some helpful hints for establishing better communication with your relationship manager: 

  • Share your company’s long-term strategy, particularly the succession plan of management. This will assist the bank with providing a deeper understanding of critical decision makers within your team. 
  • Schedule regular meetings with your banking team throughout the year to help your Relationship Manager capture a more accurate and well-rounded picture of your business. This will help the bank to respond quickly when needs and opportunities arise. These discussions should include your business’s past performance, current condition and future goals. Often quarterly or semiannual meetings provide good opportunities to stay in touch and acquaint your lender of changes to your business. Banks typically provide better financing for relationship-based borrowers who keep them well informed about good as well as bad news in the business. 
  • Provide your lender with frequent financial statements. Discuss these statements with the lender to make sure she or he interprets them correctly and is aware that you are reviewing such information regularly and have a good idea of what it shows about your business. It’s critical that your Relationship Manager be kept up to date on your company’s operations, both financial achievements and any obstacles that you may encounter.
  • If you are experiencing cash flow problems or are in need of additional capital, let your lender know as quickly as possible. Problems tend to magnify when not addressed quickly, and lenders don’t like surprises. It is always helpful to have your Relationship Manager informed of trouble situations so you can work through them together. Relationship Managers work with many kinds of companies in diverse businesses and industries. They are exposed to different strategies, management structures and financial models so they can offer valuable insight that can help you avoid costly missteps. Your Relationship Manager may be able to suggest advantageous financing options that you might not have thought of.
  • Develop a relationship with your lender in order to help you widen your circle of contacts and connect you to other businesses, leaders and professional advisors who can elevate your company’s success. Most lenders are generally willing to share their contacts with you and provide referrals for your business to prosper, as that establishes good-will with clients and deepens the relationship. 
  • Share developments in your business and your industry, particularly if you operate in a specialized field. Educate your lender about the nuances, such as regulatory changes, that may affect your company’s growth opportunities. Sharing articles or press releases about your company or industry could prove beneficial. 

The banking industry has changed radically over the years and you, as a client, can prosper by taking a proactive approach to your relationship with your lender and developing it as one of your most important business alliances.

Our Relationship Managers are always available to talk to you about your business. Get to know yours at (585) 419-0670.