Networking in Berkshire - Business Event Details

What do you get from your Bank Manager?

Hi all,

When I started my business a few years back I set-up an account with NatWest as I banked with them on a personal level and wanted to continue the relationship.  I thought long and hard about how to establish my Marketing Consultancy and I figured that helping banks to help their clients with their marketing would be a Win-Win-Win.  Sadly when the account was set-up it was assigned to their Direct Business Banking Team (despite me specifically completing the application and nominating Wokingham as my local branch) so I never benefited from any kind of local support.  When I explained the situation they just told me it was impossible to reverse, only to shut my account and go through it all again.  Needless to say I left it there and continued as a pretty fed-up customer as a result...

Anyway, about a year ago my Accountant introduced me to Matt Fleming from Barclays.  Matt is a great guy, very approachable and Barclays are becoming very pro-active on the Networking & Educational front.  As a result, I met with Matt and ran through the options for switching across and quickly decided it was in the interests of myself and my business to do just that.  The process was very simple and I'm now a customer and working closely with my Accountant and Matt at Barclays to continually strengthen Digity Marketing.

I know the word 'bank' is often followed by a sigh but in this instance I feel I've cracked a difficult nut and just wanted to share.  I then wondered what everyone else felt they received (or lacked) from their own bank manager.  You don't need to name names but in a general sense, how do you feel?

By the way, if you want me to introduce you to Matt, drop me an email and I'll do the honours.



Views: 45

Comment by Barbara Patrick on November 25, 2012 at 10:21

Oh Chris, you've opened a can of worms...  I despair at the lack of personal contact with banks.

I've banked with Lloyds on a personal level for over 30 years.  I used to know all the staff by name and back in the 80s I could actually get through to the branch and talk with the manager.

I deliberately didn't open my business account with Lloyds because of the lack of personal service. I went with RBS because the small biz manager was very personable and interactive.  She left and hey, guess what, I've never heard from a soul since.

Interestinly HSBC are offering me business banking with a personal touch but I don't have confidence in any of the banks.  Wish we could live without them...

Comment by Chris Lunn on November 27, 2012 at 13:52

Yeah - just goes back to the old adage about 'people buy from people' and what a difference it makes when they leave if the processes are not in place.  The guy leading the Barclays initiative is really getting his team on-board with their philosophy though from what I've seen.  I've been impressed and am meeting the Wokingham Manager, next week to catch-up.

Comment by Rob Pickering on December 3, 2012 at 15:14

Hi Chris,

I've had mixed experiences and not all bad. When I take on a new client I like to ask who they bank with and what's the first name of their relationship manager? Few know.

I also work with some of the banks, and find the inside track rather interesting - and actually they care about their customers but often feel hampered by the rules and objectives in their organisation.

Unfortunately I think we're in a vicious circle. We respond to "free banking", then complain that the level of service is virtually non-existent. In the current system it's fairly obvious that most small businesses are not going to earn the bank much money, so the banks pull back on the resources.

When we choose free baking, we're saying that the value we place on the relationship is zero. How much would we be prepared to pay as an annual fee to actually have contact with a relationship manager? Until I'd worked with a few, my answer would be "nothing - get out of the way and let me bank electronically". Now I'd be prepared to pay, and would recommend business owners did the same - if they knew what they were getting and it represented good value. I fear that while we pursue free banking, we're going to get what we pay for.

By the way, I don't know the surname of my HSBC Business Bank manager, let alone his or her first name. But I do know several of the staff at Lloyds and Barclays and recommend them - and they have helped my clients significantly.

Comment by Chris Lunn on December 3, 2012 at 15:34

Hit the nail on the head in regards to valuing the offering!

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