“When I was a very young banker in the 1970s, I spent some time trying to sell small family businesses on the idea of moving from Bank of America to the community bank for which I was working.
“I heard more than once that they wouldn’t do that because during the 1930s depression, A.P. Giannini loaned them, or their parents, money that helped them stay in business.
“They still remembered it 40 years later.
“Most of you that have been on the front line have heard a similar story about a “Greatest generation” banker and customer in your town.
“Now it’s your chance and your opportunity. Helping customers when they really need it – isn’t that why you got into banking to begin with?”
I concur. Help your business borrowers now and you’ll create that kind of loyalty. Yes, you need to make sound decisions to protect your bank’s balance sheet. [That is what my credit training on tax return analysis is all about!]
Within that mandate, what can you do (are you doing) to reach out and connect with the business borrowers?
Read Terence’s full article where he fleshes out his six core suggestions for the bank:
- Make the next MCIF or CRM campaign a “customer touch” initiative that communicates with your key customers and lets them know that you’re there if they need credit.
- Have your commercial relationship managers do the same outreach program with their business customers.
- Be open and transparent about the impact of recent events on your credit quality and your earnings, and be proactive in communicating this to customers.
- Communicate the differences between reckless, arrogant behavior at investment banks and prudent, ethical behavior at community banks.
- Talk about deposit insurance with customers. I have heard repeatedly from bankers in recent weeks that customers are more concerned with deposit insurance than they have been in many years.
- Talk to your front-line employees about what is happening and how it is impacting your bank.