How to Select and Work with a Banker

Marshall Rathmell |

Knowing how to select and work with a banker to maximize your financial success is an important objective which we see people fail to achieve on a regular basis.  To help people understand how to navigate this process, I asked a group of private bankers to share their thoughts about what people should know about banking. 


In the first three parts of this four-part series, I am sharing the responses I feel will be of greatest benefit to most people.  In Part 4, I offer my own comments on the bankers’ points and what anyone shopping for or using a banker should consider.




Question 1:  What is the most common mistake people make in a banking relationship? 


“Allowing themselves to be a number.  If your bank isn’t showing you the attention you need, it’s time to move on.  Don’t allow yourself to be a number at an institution.  When chaos happens, you want to be calling a person who knows you and not just be a number on hold in a call center.”

-Jeremy Tuggle, Bryant Bank


“I think the biggest mistake people make is choosing a banking relationship that is convenient rather than one that adds value to the individual or business.  I often see people who are not taking advantage of all the products, services, and expertise that their banker can provide.  I believe shopping your bank relationship not only on price and products, but also on the broader spectrum of products and services that are offered is important to ensure you maximize the resources to which you have access.  Not all banks are the same, although many of the products are the same.  And the method in which the bank delivers their suite of services is very important to consider. “

-Josh Petty, BB&T


“With banking itself, not using all the services offered, such as e-statements, mobile apps, reward points on debt card transactions, and bill pay.  There are plenty of other services available, as well.


“With regard to lending, thinking that they should get everything they ask for.  Sometimes a ‘no’ is actually in the customer’s best interest.”     

-Alex Lawley, America’s First


“Always searching for the lowest-cost provider.  Rates are rates.  A good banker will always make sure he stays competitive with the market, but when people discard the relationship aspect and always seek the lowest cost, that is not a relationship that will last for very long.”

-Patrick Thompson, National Bank of Commerce


Question 2:  What value can a banker provide? 


“A banker should be a valuable resource to both the personal and business relationship that a prospective client should require.  Your banker should be competent and knowledgeable of the various products and services that pertain to the client and be proactive in offering various solutions that could be beneficial and add value to the relationship.  I believe your banker should be proactive rather than reactive in their approach to providing value.”

-Josh Petty, BB&T


“We see a lot out in the field based on the different companies and industries we work with.  That is invaluable and can give customers an idea of local market conditions.  Also, because of the amount of people we touch, we have a strong network and love making introductions that can mutually benefit those parties.  This is a high value that isn’t in the rate you are charged.”

-Layne Held, ServisFirst



Question 3:  What services should you look for a banker to provide?  


“Along with providing affordable loan and deposit products, a banker should provide valuable guidance and be a resource for people regarding any of their business needs, not just in banking.”


-Patrick Thompson, National Bank of Commerce


Click here to read Part 1 of this series.

-Marshall Rathmell-