By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Nobody enjoys paying unnecessary banking fees. Local bank representatives shared tips on how to bank more effectively, understand banking relationships better and avoid these monetary penalties.
1. Know what you need.
“Small business owners should first meet with their local banker to understand what products and services are available to meet their unique needs. Chase offers a variety of products that can help reduce or eliminate fees, for example by maintaining a minimum daily balance or making a certain number of deposits.”
— Jim Shea, Vice president and area manager with Chase Business Banking
2. Adjust as your needs change.
“One of the biggest mistakes businesses can make is choosing an account that doesn’t fit their needs. While a free business account may seem like a good option, without conducting proper research, it may not be suitable. Some financial institutions may charge excess transaction fees, or fees for cash deposits. As businesses grow, monthly transactions change, which can put business owners at risk of incurring these fees. It is important that business owners have frequent conversations with their financial representatives, who can help them determine if their current account is right for them.”
— Robert Butkowski, First vice president, branch administration and operations for Pathfinder Bank
3. Get advice as needed.
“Small business owners and entrepreneurs understand the challenges of keeping their doors open at any stage of the economic cycle all too well. In today’s turbulent landscape, inflation, revenue, supply chain issues, rising interest rates, and access to capital are just some of the concerns facing small business owners, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In times of uncertainty, trusted advice from a qualified professional can be a lifeline for business owners, but many are unaware of the advice and solutions their banks can provide to help them become more financially resilient.
“May is National Small Business Month, marking an opportunity for business owners and their bankers to reconnect, align on challenges and solutions, and ultimately recenter their focus on banking relationships. Banks are much more than just checking accounts; they offer strategic advice to help owners operate their businesses and continuously evolve their tools and technology around the needs of clients.”
— Kristyn M. Squires, Head of small business banking and senior vice president at KeyBank
4. Talk with your banker.
“The expectation from both the customer and the bank should be that both are communicating purposefully and diligently right from the start to prevent any issues that could arise from unexpected fees. That means the banker should be reviewing the breakdown of any associated costs or fees with the customer, if applicable, early in the process of a request. And the customer should be asking questions of their business banker or lender about what fees are associated with the products they are considering. There should really be no surprises when opening a deposit account, taking out a new loan or utilizing any bank product or services being offered.”
— Jonathan Spilka, Business banking business development manager for NBT Bank