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5 Reasons It Might Be Time to Switch Business Banks
January 17, 2023
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Is your business bank not living up to your standards? Are you constantly frustrated because you can’t get answers or support? It could be time to change business banks.

According to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study, 22 percent of fast-growing small businesses have switched banks in the past 12 months, compared with only 5 percent of all other small businesses. Plus, one-quarter of owners of fast-growing small businesses intend to switch banks within the next year, compared to 7 percent of other small businesses. 

With a range of financial institutions vying for your business, from small and big banks to credit unions and online lenders, there’s no reason to stay in an unsatisfactory banking relationship.

Here are five reasons you might consider switching banks:

1. Customer Service

Banking is a business, and you should expect the same kind of customer service you give your own customers. Whether you’re talking to a teller, calling customer service or having an online chat, you don’t want to wait and wait or passed from agent to agent to get answers.

Before you switch: Check out all the customer service options available and how fast a response you can expect. Which services come free with your account and which require an additional fee? Next, walk into a branch and ask to speak to their small business manager. Find out if you’ll be assigned an account manager you can call directly. Ask if the bank has any bankers familiar with your industry.

2. New Products

Growing businesses are more likely to need capital and new banking products. If your bank doesn’t offer what you need, they could be holding your business back. New financial technology can also make your business life easier, and savvy banks are introducing new products all the time. If your bank is sorely behind the times when it comes to new technology, it’s time to look around.

Before you switch: New banking technology can mean new risks. Make sure the bank is not only equipped to handle external risks but also to help your business if you’re hit by a hacker. What security systems are in place to keep your business running in case of a cyber disaster?

3. Solving Problems

Fast-growing small businesses are sensitive to problems. According to the JD Power survey, when fast-growing companies experience one or more problems at their banks, their likelihood of switching more than doubles.

Before you switch: Problems may be inevitable, but the way the bank handles them is the deciding factor in whether or not it’s time to switch. Talk to your current banker about what the bank and your business can do to avoid this problem in the future.

4. More Tools

JD Power says big banks outpace regional and midsize banks in the percentage of small business banking customers using mobile banking, online expense tracking and online financial management tools. Big banks also boast higher customer satisfaction with their online and mobile banking experiences than regional and midsize banks. That doesn’t necessarily mean your small bank isn’t up to snuff, but if you want to keep all your finances in sync, it’s worth a look at the big guys.

Before you switch: A new bank may have more financial tools, but if they’re hard to learn, you’ll be going from one frustrating experience to another. Ask which financial apps the bank’s solutions work with, and read user reviews to see which products fit your needs.

5. Access to credit and advice

Applying for a loan seems to be the “moment of truth” for fast-growing businesses. Some 61 percent of businesses that applied for a loan in the past year considering switching banks, says JD Power. How easy does your current bank make the loan application or credit approval process? What documentation do you have to submit, and how long does approval take?

Before you switch: Access to credit is important to a growing business. You also want to be sure your banking partner can give you the financial advice you need so you don’t make crucial mistakes. Look for a bank with advisors ready to offer timely advice on all your business financial decisions.

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Herndon, VA 20170

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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