Just like individuals, it’s not uncommon for businesses to have different financial institutions that work with them on lending, depository services and treasury management (such as payables and receivables). However, over time, managing disjointed banking relationships, account types and points of contact can become inefficient and more costly in the long run. Disconnected bank relationships make it more difficult for any institution to provide your business with a fully integrated banking solution, relationship pricing or holistic advisory services.
With a dedicated business or commercial banker who personally manages your entire banking relationship, you can benefit from a higher level of service and potentially quicker access to credit decisions.
Personalization and creativity yield results in a challenging environment
As banks and businesses have had to get creative in this challenging environment, rethinking—and humanizing—the loan process has been critical to the success of all involved parties. In what may seem to be a commoditized credit environment, access to the right amount and type of credit is paramount. Yet, as we experience the ongoing credit tightening, businesses may find it difficult to gain approval for credit facilities if they aren’t already well established with a financial institution. Or, worse yet, businesses may simply be caught in the “email abyss” thanks to a long, automated process of a Big Bank.
With a comprehensive business banker, efficient, streamlined loan access can be achieved using some of the below benefits.
Large banks typically rely on signature system where clients are pushed through a faceless process down the credit decisioning line. A stronger relationship with your banker can help throw that signature system out the window and replace it with a more personal approval process with closer access to decision-makers and transparency throughout the process.
A dedicated advocate
Staying close to and aware of the credit decision process helps ensure it is seamless, accurate, consistent, and—most importantly—quick. At UMB, we personally work deals from beginning to end, from structuring terms to presenting for credit approval, as your advocate throughout the process. This approach to our lending practice, with a decision-maker so close to the process, also means there are fewer surprises. Our lenders understand what we can and can’t do, have specific financial experience and knowledge, and guide the process from end-to-end.
Strategic counsel and decision-making
Working with empowered bankers who can offer informed credit advice and execute on that advice can open the door for creativity in complex and nuanced deals. Additionally, if your banker knows the ins and outs of your business as well the internal credit process, they are better able to forecast your needs, present opportunities and help you through financial challenges as they occur.
Specific knowledge of your company
If you have a laser-focused banker, it’s likely they already have a deep understanding of the potential hurdles and challenges of your industry and unique business model. This knowledge paves the way for creative solutions to close deals and problem solve for cash flow, account management and reporting.
Case studies to consider in your banking selections
In my years at UMB, I’ve seen the power of relationship banking time and time again. Here, I summarize a few of the more memorable client experiences that benefited from building relationships with UMB.
Stymied financing solved in two weeks
An ownership group we knew was acquiring a business and seeking new financing for the first time in several years. The incumbent bank didn’t fully understand the business since the company was not a heavy borrower. After months struggling to get an approval, the owners of the company came to UMB to see if we could provide a better experience.
Because the banker owns the entire credit decisioning process rather than handing it off down the line, the banker was able to gather the necessary information from the owners, underwrite the opportunity and obtain an approval from senior loan committee in less than two weeks. The banker delivered a better overall experience to someone who was not an existing client versus their current bank, all due to UMB’s organizational set up, which empowers the banker to be a quarterback for our clients. In this case it allowed for speed and accuracy through the approval process.
Clunky, multi-bank experience streamlined
A business owner was using a combination of three banks on a senior credit facility for his business. The owner was frustrated with the clunkiness of the multi-bank account management experience as well as the need to underwrite every credit advance under their line of credit. Once referred to UMB, we were able create a single bank structure that would allow the owner ease of access to capital and streamlined the credit advance process.
Their dedicated banker formed the plan, underwrote the company, presented to UMB senior loan committee and obtained approval in approximately 30 days. With the UMB banker owning the entire process from initial conversations and structure creation, to underwriting, all the way to presentation and closing, our bankers become very knowledgeable of each business and how to integrate all the financing needs.
Growth plans realized
A new company with a strong initial track record of success, established owners, and solid business plans to grow was looking for funding. Their growth plans were dependent on obtaining an appropriately sized line of credit to fund working capital. Initially, the company worked with their local community bank, which tried to form a consolidated bank group that could meet the large credit needs of the company. After months of starts and stops, the local bank simply couldn’t find other banks to join in their efforts to approve the credit.
Once referred to UMB, the door to funding reopened, and we were successful in structuring a unique line of credit that gave the company exactly what they needed. This company has now grown from revenues in the $25 million range to revenues well over $500 million.
UMB’s ‘flat organizational’ approach
Large banks have recently been touting their new efforts to flatten their organizations from an efficiency and performance perspective. However, UMB has embraced this model from the beginning so it can also best serve clients. This approach has, and continues to be, increasingly critical for clients during the current credit environment—particularly through the lending process.
At UMB, your banker is a full-service technician providing the underwriting and the credit presentations to our credit committee — which is much more of a humanized approach. Your banker is telling your story, not some underwriter you’ve never met.
Our business and commercial bankers are deeply entrenched in relationships with our customers. We are there in the room with the business leaders providing real-time recommendations regarding credit, depository services and treasury management automation. Our bankers stay close to the business, know the business and anticipate needs of our clients so when needs arise, UMB can deliver.
We encourage business owners and operators to carefully consider the challenges of managing multiple banking connections versus the power of a personalized banking approach with a single provider. Rather than an “all eggs in one basket” view, consider it more akin to bringing all your financial loose ends together into one supportive design.
If you are interested in learning more about how UMB can help your business, visit our website.
These client anecdotes may or may not be typical. We do not guarantee similar results.