Nomads in Syria

Which is the Best Bank?

By Ian Robinson

Writing commercial and agribusiness loans for the past 15 years builds up a war chest of intellectual property and proprietary from the perpetual motion of romancing business owners with financiers.  It feels we are in the Tinder epoch of lending.  There is hardly a borrowing scenario that we have not dealt with, an issue that we have not been able to work through and funding challenge that we have not been able to solve.  What we have discovered is that building long standing relationships on sound banking principles is the key to a lasting financial affair.

Banking Watergate

Enquiry for debt funding solutions finds its way to us through vernacular osmosis. Through word of mouth, from our public profile or simply through our fortnightly reports detailing recipes of intimate inside knowledge of how the banking world operates.

This enquiry generally comes with a curious mind and a focused agenda which can explode on the scene with the most colourful expression.  This initial unfiltered and heartfelt discussion on the current state of banking is a gauge of the passion that is packed with a lifetime of compressed frustration from dealing with the banks directly.

Which is the Best Bank

First time dialogues with borrowers are generally the most revealing.  Within the first 3 minutes of courteous conversation we can be hit with the pertinent question that hangs off everyone’s mind…. “Which is the best bank” to bank with?”  Then silence.

The next words uttered are completely unexpected as they draw breath on receiving the answer to the panacea of banking that will solve all their frustrations, issues and problems, whatever form they take.

The Holy Grail

The great news is there is a solution to enhanced banking outcomes.  The search for the holy grail of banking does not come without a journey of discovery though.  Without any reputable and unbiased blueprint to go by, this pilgrimage could take a lifetime and even then, may not yield return or results.  Like a soured meal at a restaurant, the echoes of disdain for banking can be easily heard from those that have adopted a solo approach to dealing directly with financiers when they do not possess the pedigree, time, resources or engineering to do so.

On the flipside, if the road map is provided (or GPS in modern terminology), the expedition to cost efficient and flexible capital is streamlined, you can expect a more positive and collaborative outcome.  Sounds like a cliché, so let’s get some teeth and context into this statement.

Presentation is King, not the Emperor

Getting access to debt capital is NOT a right or an entitlement.  Past behaviours of accessing credit do not hold any correlation as to how you access credit in today’s market.  Remember, you as a borrower are competing against all the other borrowers for the same pool of capital.  Lender’s will decipher credit risk as assessed by your presentation.

Your presentation is a representation of your knowledge around your business with regards to risk assessment, risk appetite, risk mitigation, financial control and corporate governance.

Credit is not assessed on emotional adjectives that describes you and the business.  It is assessed on hard facts.  A deep dive on forensic accounting across all layers of your business (operational, managerial, structural, financial….) will be undertaken supported by prime or source documentation to underpin the representations.

Anything short of the above is analogous to the Emperor’s New Clothes.  Credit will see right through to the elementary pitfalls of your business leading to an erosion of risk profiling and overall banking engagement.

Where you sit on this scale depends on your commitment to the presentation process, your capability of executing this process and the delivery of this process to the banks.

Get the formula right, and you will be presented with the best bank and team of bankers for your business.  The personal experience from this process becomes the panacea you seek.


Conclusion with Camomile

By most part I could safely say that dealing with the banks is hardly anyone’s cup of tea.  Pour us one though and while you share 30 minutes of your time telling us your story, we can share with you ours.

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