With news of bank closings in a tough economy, businesses don't want to risk choosing a bank that is in danger of closing. In addition, many small businesses are also looking for a bank that is more in tune with their needs, where they can get guidance and more personal interaction.
Here are ten questions to ask when you are considering a particular bank, courtesy of this article by Mary Goodman and Rich Russakoff for BNET.
- Is the bank healthy with strong financials?
- Does the bank have a business division focused on lending to small- and medium-sized companies?
- Is the bank on the SBA’s current list of top small business lenders?
- Is the bank familiar and comfortable with your industry?
- Does the bank offer the mix of services and products you want?
- Does your desired loan amount fit within the bank’s lending limits?
- Can you secure a meeting with the right person?
- Is the banker willing to meet with you at your company?
- Does the banker have local lending authority?
- How long has the loan officer been with the bank?
You can find more details in the entire article here.
You may also check Bankrate.com for a tool that lets you search for "safe" banks according to a star rating system.
Tribute's own Tim Reynolds was interviewed in Crain's Cleveland Business about moving from a large bank to a smaller, community-based bank. “It was a much more personal relationship with the bank,” said Mr. Reynolds, who noted that he didn’t have a consistent lending officer at [the large bank]. “Here was a bank that was interested in my business, that wanted to understand my business.” You can read the full article here.