What Should You Look For in a Bank?
Whether as a business or an individual, your relationship with your banker and financial advisor is important. It requires a high level of trust that goes far beyond simply securing your money, conducting a transaction, or paying interest.
As the banking industry has changed, customers have options that run from new online-only banks to huge national brick-and-mortar chains. It’s easy to compare some things, but to find the perfect fit, consider what your ideal relationship with your bank would look like. Ask yourself:
How important is responsiveness and a personal connection?
If a bank is just a place to store money, that’s one thing. But if you’re looking for advice, personalized service, or a range of offerings for yourself or your business, having a bank where you have a person to call – and just as importantly, who will call you back – is key. In complex matters, a trusted advisor is critical, and it takes time to build that kind of intimacy.
What range of services does your bank offer?
There can be a lot of efficiency in one-stop banking. An individual might start with a checking account, but someday need a mortgage or wealth management. A business may grow from a line of credit to needing help with benefits and payroll. When you get these from a bank you know, the process is streamlined, and there can be benefits of bundling as well.
How important is the size of a bank?
A very small bank may not be positioned to offer a full range of financial services, while in a very large bank different divisions become so large that customers may as well be working with separate companies. Banks in the “Goldilocks zone,” neither too big nor too small, can offer you all you need while still retaining a unified, personal, local presence.
Has your bank invested in things that are relevant to you?
Banking has changed a lot, and the expectations of customers have changed too. A bank that is willing to evolve its service model, invests in new technology, and strives to earn your business every day is a bank that is more likely to still be there for you in years to come.
Does your banking institution share your values?
All banks donate time and money, but only some really build giving back into their DNA. A bank should be more than a business – it can be the connective tissue of a neighborhood, helping individuals become owners, helping those businesses hire employees, helping those employees enjoy a fulfilling life and contribute to their community.
At Alerus, our offerings and service model blend what we feel is the best of all worlds. Our heritage as a long-standing community bank, with all the responsiveness and personal attention implied in that, has been paired with multi-faceted financial services designed for the needs of individuals and businesses. Our mission is to help the businesses, individuals, and communities we serve thrive, and we have the people and tools to do just that. Come in and see all that your Alerus community bank has to offer.