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Bankers’ language

by fatweb

Martz_WittyMartz Witty

Head of the Martz Group.

At the office we have had a massive couple of months with bankers meetings and requests for information that are sometimes outside of the normal.
It has prompted us to proactively address how we deal with banks on behalf of our clients, address how we can  better serve our clients and how to better upskill them in knowing what their bankers are ‘actually’ asking for when they request information.
There’s a fundamental rule when it comes to dealing with  your bank – they do not like surprises of a negative variety.
Individual managers are just that, individual! Some are proactive, some are empathetic, some are aggressive and others nonchalant. They are, after all, just human. Typically we find that they will reflect back how you are with them – so if you want upbeat and attentive then try being that to them in the first place.
Too often we see clients only conversing with their bankers when they have to, when they need an overdraft extension or temporary range. It’s not a healthy relationship to be in (for either party).
We do sometimes get told there is no relationship there.
Well then you have three choices:
•     Put up and shut up
•     Change banks
•     Ask to change bank managers
Each has pros and cons. Changing banks is logistically easy enough, but you lose valuable banking history and that comes only with time. Changing managers might be a better option for you if the breakdown is only personal. Putting up and shutting up is seldom the right solution, unless of course there are changes afoot with your banking advisors.
Paramount to understanding and having a good relationship is to know what your bankers are asking and why.
Typically their interest is in the past and your future. They look at your accounts (you know those pieces of paper that the accountant prepares and sometimes you haven’t got a clue what they are about).
They need to assess your liquidity (ability to pay your debts as they fall due), profitability (that you are making money for your efforts), and your cash flows (that there is more coming in than going out).
This sounds so simple but there’s more to it than that.
If you don’t know why a banker is asking for something, simply ask them. They’re typically there to try and help you.
If in doubt take your accountant and they can translate some of the dialogue for you.

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