The Return of Relationship Business Banking

Good old-fashioned banking, where your banker knows your name and understands your business, is on the way back.  At best, relationship bankers become part of your team and have the authority and discretion to provide real help when times are tough, as well as the right services and advice to help you grow in good times.

But there can be a dark side to relationship banking too. When it comes to women in business, wherever there’s discretion, there’s scope for discrimination. Leading businesswoman Hilary Devey’s experience wasn’t unusual when she started her business back in 1996. Despite a solid business plan and years of industry experience, her bank manager told her: “You’re a women trying to do business in a man’s world and a single parent. I’m afriad that I’m not going to give you a loan. Or an overdraft.”

We’ve come a long way since then. In the last few years women have started more businesses than men. More relationship bankers are female. And recent research suggests that there is now little evidence of bank discrimination against women in business.

So if you are lucky enough to have a bank that offers the opportunity for a real relationship, you should make the most of it. Remember that relationship banking is two-way. The more your bank manager knows about your business plans and vision, the better they will be able to work with you. Keep them informed, flag-up potential concerns and invite them to share successes.

Santander have made a firm commitment to relationship business banking. They guarantee all their commercial banking customers a dedicated, expert Relationship Director and a face to face meeting. And refreshingly, the principles underpinning their relationship banking campaign are: simple, personal, fair.  Watch the video to find out more.

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