By James Nicholson-Smith, Business Development Director & Managing Principal, West Midlands Region, The FD Centre

Many owner managers find it very difficult communicating with their bank — communications are divided by a common language. The bank is a machine that consumes financial information about its customers. If you starve that machine, it will become irritated and irrational. More often than not, this is the root cause of a deteriorating relationship.

To avoid this, you need to provide the bank with a full finance report every month setting out the financial position and latest forecast and a commentary. This leaves them with no need to fear the worst because the truth is in front of them. On the whole, the bank wants to support its clients.

Fees and interest rates are a hot topic at present because banks are pushing up fees and their margin on interest rates. However, owner managers should consider this as price negotiations like with any other supplier. If you are under pressure on pricing, then you need an alternative to ensure you get the best deal.

Finally but by no means least, bank managers are human beings just like you and me. They like to be liked and they really want to be trusted. If you really really want to say thank you to your relationship manager for looking after you so well, recommend him to a another business and make an introduction.

Many SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) owners have engaged part time finance directors to manage the banking relationship as well as to steer them through their strategic growth plan.

To make sure you have the right team in place to manage your business, contact The FD Centre and ask for a free financial health check, carried out by an experienced Finance Director. If you are interested in finding out more please visit www.thefdcentre.co.uk

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