How closely do you look at the fees you pay on your business cheque account or the interest that is charged on your loans? Do you look at this aspect of your business as “business as usual” or do you look at ways of reducing these costs?
Small fees may add up to a significant cost to your business over time, so it may be in your best interest to review your business banking on a regular basis. There may be ways to save costs; examples may include simply changing the way you do your banking by moving to online banking, or even changing who you do your banking with.
You may decide that it is time to look at another financial institution. If you are looking at a comparison for transactional banking or lending, you will find that most institutions are likely to record details on their web page. If you prefer, it might suit you to talk to someone directly, either over the phone or by visiting your local branch. If you have borrowings or complicated finances the branch staff should be able to direct you to a business banking professional. When comparing financial institutions, always consider mutual organisations like building societies and credit unions.
After comparing what you are paying to what is available you should have sufficient information to make a decision on what you would like to do. You need to be comfortable with the people who will be looking after you if you decide to move.
Should you choose to change financial institutions, you may wish to consider a transitional plan and operate the accounts simultaneously.
If applying for commercial borrowings the best approach is to talk to that institution and ask them what is required. You’ll probably need to have the following information available:
- Up to date financial details (normally the last three years details).
- Personal statement of assets and liabilities.
- Last six months statements.
- All loan details including repayments.
- Any additional finance required in the short term.
- Security details to support your loan.
- Tax portals.
- Cash flow budgets.
- Business plans.
The important message is not to put up barriers to change. If there is a cost saving you should consider pursuing it. You should find that financial institutions are quite willing to help reduce the pain and help you make that move.
Any advice contained in the column has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situations or needs. Because of that, before acting on any advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your circumstances.