Whether you’re a start-up entrepreneur or a mature, well-established business, partnering with the right bank and the right relationship manager can help propel your business beyond just financing. In the Pittsburgh area, there are banks on every corner, and they all want your business. However, it is up to you to choose the bank that helps your business succeed in the long run. A bank that works to advise. A bank intrinsically dedicated to your success.
For businesses looking for that long-term banking partner, Standard Bank (based in Monroeville, PA) is a local community bank that still adheres to the advisory banking partner model and can be a great solution.
What does “advice” mean for a banking relationship?
A consultative approach to lending and banking means that the bank goes beyond just processing a loan or opening an account. Their sales culture is different. It is not arrogant. It’s all about conversation and relationship. For example, when applying for a business loan, you want a banking culture that begins with prequalification and exploratory discussions to ensure the best chance of approval. The dialogue often includes conversations with credit underwriters on the front of the application, which also contributes to a favorable outcome.
Another feature of an advisory bank will be that it really takes the time to understand your business, what makes it successful, and the risks you face. Each of Standard Bank’s Commercial Relations Managers has the chance to meet and work with hundreds of local clients. That’s an immeasurable amount of experience they can draw on to help your business (industry-related or not).
What if I had a well-established business?
No matter where you are in your business growth cycle, it helps to have a business relationship manager who can advise you. This not only includes their knowledge, but it includes the vast network of experts that they have assembled over the years in the industry. Perhaps you have an accountant who is retiring, or you suddenly need a lawyer who specializes in some type of business law. You may be looking to redeem your partners as they look to retire or relocate. Whatever your specific need, an advisory bank must offer you access to its vast network of trusted professionals.
Navigate Alliances and Change
Here’s another point to consider as your business grows in size and complexity: it’s common to have covenants (banking conditions required with your loan relationship) as part of the finance package. It is important that the customer as well as the business relationship manager understand the commitment (s), how they are calculated and what happens if they are not honored. A breach of a commitment can be a serious issue, and it’s critical that your banker understands what created the breach (it could be a one-time scenario, a changing industry concern, or something that could have been avoided with a different management approach).
Navigating through a waiver of engagement can be tricky, and can sometimes be avoided if you have a seasoned relationship manager who knows your business and can provide you with sound advice. Commitments are just one example of why you want an advisor who is by your side from the start.
Left, President Andy Hasley consults with Faye Rosatti, vice president responsible for business relations, at the local Greensburg Standard Bank office
But isn’t the rate the most important?
While some would consider commercially lending a commodity where only the lowest rate is the best choice, we at Standard Bank say the rate is only one part of a strong commercial banking relationship. When times are good and you have a business as usual growth mindset, it’s easy to forget how valuable it is to have a strong, advisory business relationship manager and banking partner. Business loans and cash management services are best suited individually – and you shouldn’t settle for less. The rate is very important, but so are the dozens of other factors that go into a business and banking lending relationship. It is rare for a company to make a rate decision on its own.
How can I get started?
If you think that your company could benefit from a partnership with an advisory bank, Standard Bank invites you to consult one of our commercial relations managers. We would love to chat with you! Just visit standardbankpa.com/advisory to get started or call one of our community banking offices.
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