I am always amazed at how people choose their financial institution these days. Some base their logic on rates, others on location, and sometimes it is just the first one they drive by. In almost every case you stay with an institution based on the relationships you have with the people you deal with on a regular basis. This type of relationship banking has changed over the years, but not in a good way.
Banking has become quantified and cold. Customers are often treated as a number. How many people do you work with who actually know you and what you need from your bank? As banks have become larger and more complex, more stringent rules and regulations have made the hurdles for doing business more difficult and complicated. This is the world we live in. It’s not easy for banks to navigate, let alone for consumers to keep up with the massive amount of changes. Banks must do a better job of helping their customers work within the framework of new regulations and help provide better products to help customers find safe ways to transact business.
As a banker for a family owned institution, we view our culture as one based on service not sales. If we are doing our jobs then our goal should be to offer you services that you need and are useful to your lifestyle. Our goal is to do business with our customers for decades, not just a transaction or two. Many times customers make decisions based on the moment and the deal they are working on. In many cases this is a short-sighted decision. Important questions to ask about your financial institution include: How long will you work with that individual? Does the institution add value to your financial future? Are you a valued member of the customer base? If your answer is not yes to all of these questions then you may need to rethink your banking relationship.
Banking is a service business. Banking professionals are trusted to help customers make some of the most important financial decision of their lives. If our industry becomes more interested in pitching products and streamlining customer contact, then we have done a disservice to those we serve. Next time you look around for financial advice, try stepping back in time to a time when banks grew on the success of their customers’ future. That’s how we build trust, one legacy at a time.
Information provided by Brian Chittenden, Executive Vice President, Legacy Bank, 515-276-7010