The Practitioner: Champagne bankers

ARE the banks back in business?

Is it me, or have banks made a big effort recently to get involved? We have had a wave of bank activity, kicked off by an evening of corporate hospitality and, wait for it… the banks paid for everything.

Since that evening, I have had several meetings with managers and business development managers instigated by the banks themselves. For much of the past five to seven years I have tried to build relationships with banks and only now does it feel like it is paying off.

I even received an email, with a referral from a bank manager I had recently met. Things are definitely looking up, although talk of them being open for business and still willing to lend doesn’t yet match the reality on the streets.

Most small businesses I have helped recently to obtain bank finance, or restructure existing finance, have come up against a brick wall, or at least a higher wall than in the past.

I am confident, though, that if we can continue to build relationships with local business managers in several banks it will help the banks to lend to our clients – wishful thinking I’m sure.

Talking of wishful thinking, I was reading some personal development books recently and one message that comes across loud and clear is, “you move towards what you expect”.

It certainly seems to have worked with the banks, as I have been determined to make something work with them on a local relationship level, even if it has taken longer than I thought. We will have to wait and see how the relationships continue to develop, but if you don’t try you will never know. It has to be worth the effort, even if it’s for nothing more than another evening of free corporate hospitality.

Just off now to calculate how many bottles of champagne I would need to order to recoup my lifetimes’ worth of bank charges.

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