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Who do you do your business banking with?

yveskleinsky

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We are shopping around for a bank that can meet our business needs. Granted, we are small, so it's not a huge issue now- but one I'd like to have figured out before it becomes a huge issue!

Who do you guys recommend for business banking and why?
 

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AroundTheWorld

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A local bank for sure.

Lay the groundwork for future loans you may need.

And I would look for one with decent online services including bill pay.
 
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yveskleinsky

yveskleinsky

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...But what if we are trying to launch a site? Same advice still applies?
 

AroundTheWorld

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I don't have any experience in launching a site.... but I would still go local if it were me.... because of the same reason. Nice to develop that relationship for a potential loan in the future.
 

EasyMoney_in_NC

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Sep 9, 2007
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Wouldn't a big bank be better, especially for when/if your business starts to grow large?
NO! As one who has banking relationships with a half dozen different banks at any one time, I love the small local banks and leave the ones that get gobbled up by the big boys.
You want to deal with people who live work and understand your local economy. Most big banks have only the ability to do low level boiler plate product placement with clients. They usually have to go outside even a local region, to a bean counter who really may have no grasp of what it is trying to be accomplished and declines based on fundamental #'s.
Work with a local bank, they'll be more apt to be flexible. Even with the recent lending issues these days, I have recently spoken to a couple of previous, and new relationships that I know would fund me 100% of what I need because I have a great track record and my risk is a proven calculated one, not fly by night. It helps to have decent deposits with these institutions since they look at a complete relationship package, but local banks also tend to not be involved with big credit (thats gone very wrong) and not having been burned, are more likely to work with you if you show resolve.
Big banks are like a cattle farm.................take a number and we'll cut your head off (Ah....I mean get to your needs) in time :D
 
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yveskleinsky

yveskleinsky

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I came across two local banks today that I think will work for us- they both off small amounts to open a business checking account, as well as a low monthly fee and a small per transaction fee- all of which we were looking for.
 

rsant

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Jan 19, 2008
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I started my business account with commerce bank. I chose them because of the free pens and lollipops!
 

rsant

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Wouldn't a big bank be better, especially for when/if your business starts to grow large?
maybe better in terms of location convenience. But in a fiscal sense such as savings and investments, smaller banks often present higher return rates.
 
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yveskleinsky

yveskleinsky

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I started my business account with commerce bank. I chose them because of the free pens and lollipops!
Note to self: Do not go into business with Rsant. lol ;)
 

WheelsRCool

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Aug 12, 2007
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NO! As one who has banking relationships with a half dozen different banks at any one time, I love the small local banks and leave the ones that get gobbled up by the big boys.
You want to deal with people who live work and understand your local economy. Most big banks have only the ability to do low level boiler plate product placement with clients. They usually have to go outside even a local region, to a bean counter who really may have no grasp of what it is trying to be accomplished and declines based on fundamental #'s.
Work with a local bank, they'll be more apt to be flexible. Even with the recent lending issues these days, I have recently spoken to a couple of previous, and new relationships that I know would fund me 100% of what I need because I have a great track record and my risk is a proven calculated one, not fly by night. It helps to have decent deposits with these institutions since they look at a complete relationship package, but local banks also tend to not be involved with big credit (thats gone very wrong) and not having been burned, are more likely to work with you if you show resolve.
Big banks are like a cattle farm.................take a number and we'll cut your head off (Ah....I mean get to your needs) in time :D
Well I mean though what happens if you business starts to grow national, or international even? Or what if you say have intentions of growing your business to this level?

Is it best to always start with a local bank, and then as the business grows, if necessary, move to a larger one? Or if you have intentions of growing the business into a big business, should you just start with a big bank then?

Also, how about for ecommerce businesses that do business internationally but are not necessarily a "big business" so-to-speak, would they fair best with a local or big bank?
 

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phlgirl

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NO! As one who has banking relationships with a half dozen different banks at any one time, I love the small local banks and leave the ones that get gobbled up by the big boys.
You want to deal with people who live work and understand your local economy. Most big banks have only the ability to do low level boiler plate product placement with clients. They usually have to go outside even a local region, to a bean counter who really may have no grasp of what it is trying to be accomplished and declines based on fundamental #'s.
Work with a local bank, they'll be more apt to be flexible. Even with the recent lending issues these days, I have recently spoken to a couple of previous, and new relationships that I know would fund me 100% of what I need because I have a great track record and my risk is a proven calculated one, not fly by night. It helps to have decent deposits with these institutions since they look at a complete relationship package, but local banks also tend to not be involved with big credit (thats gone very wrong) and not having been burned, are more likely to work with you if you show resolve.

This is excellent advice. ++++ I only wish I had started relationships at local banks MUCH earlier in the game.

If your business grows and you need more money than the local bank is able to provide, you simply start a new relationship with a larger/international bank. If you want the best chance of having your lending needs met, in the early years, start locally.

In my experience, larger banks work according to a fairly strict rulebook. Even if your banker looks at your deal and really likes it - agrees with you that it would be a great investment - if your business/property does not fit into the exact rules of CORP playbook, there is nothing he or she (banker) can do about it. At a smaller bank, with less rules, they are able to make decisions based on certain guidelines AND their business sense.
 

bflbob

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I agree with the start with the local bank crowd.

The company I work for was a fairly good-sized local company about 10 years ago.
We dealt with a local bank, and had very few problems with them.
As we went from $20 mil in revenues to what now is close to $200 mil, things changed.

The local bank still wanted to do business with us, but they couldn't handle big loans.
They were fine, up to about the $25 mil loan amounts, but beyond that we became too large.
Their solution was to resell our loans to other larger banks, which worked for a while.

Now, we're with a larger regional bank.
They can handle the bigger transactions, and they have a presence in most of the areas we deal in.
We still were dealing with the local bank, up until the bigger bank bought them out.
And, we've formed relations with other local banks since.

Local banks have a big advantage.
You can call the lender on the phone, and get a decision.
At a big bank, everything has to go before a committee, and that takes time.

Big banks also have some plusses.
They cover a larger area, can meet higher limits, and have more "products" to offer.
But they tend to be very fee driven.

Local banks build relationships.
Big banks build fee revenues.

As your business grows, you'll find the bigger banks start tracking you down.
Partly because loan officers are always on the move.
Partly because your size starts to register on their radar.
And they'll make it pretty seamless to change to them.
 

Russ H

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Re points for you, Bobbo.

We're still in the learning curve on this-- actually talking to different sizes of banks right now to get $750K-1000K cash out on our B&B (to be used to finish our other project).

So, we can't contribute anything learned-- yet.

Community bank has been the best so far.

-Russ H.
 

Cmbilt

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Jan 25, 2008
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In my experience in launching a site and finding a bank, my partners and I have gone with Wachovia (given my partner already had an account there). They only require a $1500 balance for business checking account and no fees for the first 2 years. Although Wachovia is a bigger bank, I do understand going with a smaller bank to establish the personal relationships and line of trust if you will need loans in the future.


Tyler Davis
www.cmbilt.com
 

WheelsRCool

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Aug 12, 2007
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EasyMoney, phlgrl, and bflbob, thanks for the information. I am currently with Bank of America at the moment, I guess I had better change to a local bank!
 

AroundTheWorld

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No big need to change...

...just add a second relationship.

It never hurts to have two lenders competing for your business.
Yes!

We actually have a relationship with 5 or 6 banks.... it is important to build more then one. When the bigger project comes along - it is really nice to have that network. When you outgrow one - you don't need to start a second relationship from scratch (or third or fourth) - - you already have it if you have been building all along.
 

Andrew

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Aug 8, 2007
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I don't know about other places, but my local bank's online service *blows.* Every time I would log in, I would have to call a phone number and have the password reset (hackers using brute force attack I guess, too many failures triggers the phone verification.) Besides being very simplified and missing most of the features I needed it was basically unusable.

I have accounts at quite a few banks, my primary business I run through Wells Fargo primarily because of the online stuff. Works great, no complaints.
 

hakrjak

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I like Key bank out here in Colorado. Free business checking, and free savings account. Used to be $12.95 a month in service charges, and they just got rid of that. Also reasonably priced lines of credit, and bank managers always willing to chat and see how they can help.

- Hakrjak
 

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yveskleinsky

yveskleinsky

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I used to live in Ft.Collins. I loved Key and Compass Bank. They were great. ...I actually just found a bank called foundations.com based out of WI, that is AWESOME, but they're small and unsure if they can handle out-of-state business.
 

biophase

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Just an FYI, if you open a business account with Chase Bank the manager may have a coupon for a $200 reward. They will probably recommend that you go with Chase Paymenttech as your merchant account and cc gateway. Chase Paymenttech uses Authorize.net. They charge a $200 setup fee, $20/mo.

I did this and basically used the $200 reward to pay for the set up charge.
 

andviv

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I use Bank of America. Being an out-of-state landlord, I needed a bank that could be easily found everywhere so the renters had no excuse about not being able to deposit the rent. For mortgages, Suntrust has had many of my loans.

PS: Moved the thread to General Business Discussion. This is very business-related, so I thought it was not fair to have it as off-topic.
 
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WestCoast

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On the West Coast we ride
Just switched from WaMu to Wells for business.

Went with a local credit union (first time) for personal.

----
Everything said about relationships is 100% correct. I found this out the difficult way, which is why I'm now using two banks, and for the next business might do a third.

Banks like to see deposits, history, and it doesn't hurt to have them familiar with what you are doing.

If you are thinking you will need a loan in the future, work on it now as well. It is far more likely to get a LOC when you don't need it, and have it at the ready, then try to do a quick application for one when you already wish you had it. The bankers that know you, have seen you making deposits, look into your account from time to time, all lead towards better lending abilities down the line.

A second thing about a local bank, is often times that money goes to work back locally, so you are helping out the local community around you, which is sort of a warm fuzzy feeling if you're into that :)
 

Andrew

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Aug 8, 2007
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One thing to add, check out the bank ratings for any banks you deal with. Some of the smaller, local banks are under capitalized, and there may be a string of failures of the next few years. FDIC insured or not, even a slight interruption in your day to day can be very expensive.

Check out this link to start: http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/bank/index.html
 
Jan 20, 2013
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NO! As one who has banking relationships with a half dozen different banks at any one time, I love the small local banks and leave the ones that get gobbled up by the big boys.
You want to deal with people who live work and understand your local economy. Most big banks have only the ability to do low level boiler plate product placement with clients. They usually have to go outside even a local region, to a bean counter who really may have no grasp of what it is trying to be accomplished and declines based on fundamental #'s.
Work with a local bank, they'll be more apt to be flexible. Even with the recent lending issues these days, I have recently spoken to a couple of previous, and new relationships that I know would fund me 100% of what I need because I have a great track record and my risk is a proven calculated one, not fly by night. It helps to have decent deposits with these institutions since they look at a complete relationship package, but local banks also tend to not be involved with big credit (thats gone very wrong) and not having been burned, are more likely to work with you if you show resolve.
Big banks are like a cattle farm.................take a number and we'll cut your head off (Ah....I mean get to your needs) in time :D
I'm curious, is this statement still valid? Or even moreso valid in the current environment where big banks are supposedly not lending much? Thanks!
 

CPisHere

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We are shopping around for a bank that can meet our business needs. Granted, we are small, so it's not a huge issue now- but one I'd like to have figured out before it becomes a huge issue!

Who do you guys recommend for business banking and why?
I've used Chase before for a small business Credit Card (I use them for my personal accounts as well), and found them decent to work with - there fees, etc are reasonable and they have great online tools.

For my SBA loan, I went with a local bank. They had the most SBA loans and highest success rates of any bank around me. I still use them for all of my (minimal) business banking needs. Their online tools and hours are pretty terrible compared to Chase, but their customer service is better to deal with - though I probably do have more issues with them, thus have to deal with customer service more often.

When I need better business services, I will likely switch to Capital One. I've heard good things about their business banking - at least in my area.
 

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