6 Hard Hitting Questions You’re Too Afraid To Ask Your Banker

Written by: Brady Drake

1. People always have told me never to keep all your money with one bank. Is this just a cliché?

A: Diversifying your banking relationships is never a bad idea. It really depends
on the size and nature of your business. For single operating companies there really isn’t a reason to need a second “bank” per se; however, having multiple banking “relationships” does make sense. You never know when an opportunity may arise to expand or move into additional businesses, and this is where multiple relationships can be very important. For owners who have multiple businesses or property owners, having multiple banks can be very important. Legal lending limits and other factors can come into play. Another obvious reason to have multiple banks is for FDIC Insurance limits. – Kory Shae, SVP, Business Development Director, Border Bank

2. I’ve worked with many banks that say they are known for “service,” how do I know you are different?

A: What separates Border from many other banks on the service side is the ability to make local decisions quickly and efficiently. We have the systems and people in place to have the ability to move quickly when opportunities arise. We understand that opportunities can close quickly so it is important to be swift, yet diligent, in making decisions for clients. Many banks create many layers which can create long timelines for answers/approvals. We pride ourselves on getting things done efficiently and also the fact that most of us are always available for questions/calls. – Jordan Cook, President, Border Bank

3. Besides the relationships between the bankers and customers, what other relationships are important for delivering great service?

A: There are many important relationships outside of the direct customer dealings. The most significant are local title companies, appraisers and other vendors. We treat them as partners because their services are integral to what we do. Many times we are in need of quick turnarounds for closings and these relationships are imperative in allowing the banks to accomplish this. It has been a philosophy of the bank to build and foster these partnerships as ultimately it leads to better customer service for our bank clients. – Shannon Bergee, Processor, Border Bank

4. I’m always curious about exploring other banks but usually one of the hold-ups is the time and effort in the change. Do you have a process that would make this easy for me?

A: This is all about what systems the bank has and the people helping out with the process. We understand that moving banks is a big process that doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be patient in getting everything put into place prior to fully utilizing us as your primary bank. It is a full team effort and we have team members that handle various aspects of the process. There is a lot of banking experience here in the Fargo Branch. I have experienced a lot of this and have become familiar with what it takes as I am just over 18 months into my time with Border. A lot of previous clients have moved their banking relationship to me at Border. – Kory Shae, SVP, Business Development Director, Border Bank

5. In my experience, some bankers are proactive and most are reactive. Are there any additional services that you offer to ensure our banker is working for us and always keeping us in mind?

A: Your statement is 100% true about the majority being reactive. This really gets back to question number two. You have to be able to adapt to changing conditions (economic, market, rates, etc.) at all times. Management needs to recognize that different rate environments present additional opportunities, but also open the door to outside competitors coming for your customer base. I feel like we do a great job of keeping tabs on our customers that we have. This is why quality is more important than quantity when it comes to your customer base. When you have great relationships with your customer base, you will generally avoid the need to be reactive. Technology also plays a big key in this as well. You don’t want to get behind the times with the latest technology. – Lori DeKeyser, SVP, Business Officer, Border Bank

6. I enjoy the financing and strategy aspect of working with a bank to expand my business. My administrator on the other hand has found some banks, especially their technologies, to be a barrier when trying to create efficient processes. Tell me about your technologies and services to ensure I don’t waste time on a day-to-day basis.

A: Technology is always a challenge given it is a forever changing item. As mentioned above, if you get complacent in this area you can be passed by quickly. Your administrator is a great example of our commitment to taking care of your entire team. We try and develop relationships with all of the key people within a business. We have a lot of clients who we deal with the owners a few times a year but deal with their accountants/ administrators/etc. on a daily basis. That also goes both ways, as we have people here at the bank that we trust to take care of our clients so we don’t get bogged down in the “busy” work, which hinders expansion. Having a team you can trust and the technology to back it goes a long way in establishing long- term, trusting relationships with our customers. – Lori DeKeyser, SVP, Business Officer, Border Bank

Kory Shae, SVP, Business Development Director, Border Bank
Kory Shae, SVP, Business Development Director, Border Bank
Jordan Cook, President, Border Bank
Jordan Cook, President, Border Bank
Lori DeKeyser, SVP, Business Officer, Border Bank
Jordan Cook, President, Border Bank
Shannon Bergee, Processor, Border Bank
Shannon Bergee, Processor, Border Bank
Share This Article
Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.