What business owners think of their bank

Your relationship with your bank should be an important one, and we’re not feeling the love from our current bank, so we’re contemplating a switch. In truth, we’ve been contemplating a switch for years, but it’s a huge hassle, so it has never becomes a priority. I put this issue in the “Not Urgent / Important” category.

My first step in due diligence was to email about a dozen Atlanta entrepreneurs. “Ideally, we’d move to a new bank that at least pretends to care about us,” I asked, “Who do you recommend?” Here are their answers:

We use First American out of Athens. It is a small community bank in Athens and we have always received over-the-top customer service. Just fantastic. (They know us when we call them for something). To be fair, our CEO does know VP there fairly well, but I think that is a small part of it. It is kind of pain not having a local branch, but we deposit everything via remote-deposit capture and never deal with cash so it’s rarely an issue. Whenever we need to sign something, they Fedex it to us and pay shipping both ways. Its a breath of fresh air compared to Wells and BofA.

We have Wells Fargo and they suck after the Wachovia absorption. I’m looking for a small regional too. Reached out to BB&T and wasn’t impressed.

We use SunTrust and they kinda suck. I’d love to hear reviews of Silicon Valley Bank as they’re supposed to understand our kind of businesses.

We’re using SunTrust. And I agree that they kinda suck.

I use SunTrust for business. But I have zero loyalty to them. They were just closest to our first location.

We use Wells Fargo and it is a pretty “arms-length” relationship. No real great or negative stuff to report. I’d like to establish a line of credit with someone, but that kind of banking seems to have gone the way of the dodo.

BB&T for business. The account manager has freedom to approve your line of credit (got $800k when others wouldn’t give me diddly). Others use underwriters, BB&T does too after a limit. BB&T has flexibility and the rates are good AND they do other things insurance, merchant services. Deposit by remote scan etc.

I use Wells Fargo for business, and we have just started the process of switching to Silicon Valley Bank. Banking for me is a commodity, a service, and not a core function of my business that if I don’t get right won’t impede me. i.e. it isn’t the differentiator to us providing better services.

We’re with Bank of America, but our needs are simple.  Online banking, Quickbooks integration, and iPhone check deposit. Trying to talk to a person is maddening, but that seems to be standard with the big banks.

Yeah, our bank is not going to be a popular choice, but we use BofA. We have for a long time and we do have a good enough relationship with them to give us a decent Line of Credit plus a high credit limit on their credit card. The main thing I like about BofA is online banking. They have the best online banking (we can transfer money between accounts and line of credit without talking to anyone), QuickBooks integration plus ACH deposits on checks. We never really have to talk to anyone over there.  Not sure if that is a plus or a minus. I did find out that we are eligible for a free safety deposit box and that made me happy. It’s the little things.

Clearly, there is a big opportunity for small business banking. Of the ten responses I’ve received, two were positive, one was reasonably satisfied, and the remainder were indifferent to negative.

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1 Comment

  1. Absolutely an ongoing challenge for business owners, I believe even more so in the current economy. I used SunTrust for my business and they basically were deposit handlers – absolutely no relationship opportunity. I had a lot more luck with a less know smaller community bank that considered itself a partner to SMBs.

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