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Veteran Advisor

How long do you stay with your bank?

I was thinking this week about the banks I have done business with in my farming carrer.  20 years of farming and I am on my 6 th bank.  A lot of that is due to moving from one state to another.  However I was just wondering if you guys are loyal to the institution or to your loan officer. 

Or is it all about the terms of the loan you can get?  Just wondering and thought I would ask for response form the assembled multitude. JR

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19 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: HOw long do you stay with your bank?

Pretty much terms of the loan constitute where it goes.  Usually give the current lending institution the opportunity to match or at least come closer but almost will always go the cheapest route.  One time did get fed up with Farm Credit and shifted a fairly large real estate loan.  They knew it was a golden, ultra secure loan but still didn't offer terms that others were getting.  The internet is a fantastic means to locate this information which  thankfully other farmers are willing to share.  So found a local bank that offered a significant savings that would also release all the other owned real estate being held by Farm Credit for collateral.  Suddenly Farm Credit was stumbling all over itself trying to keep the loan and was willing to undercut the bank.  I don't like that game so moved the loan. 

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gagene
Member

Re: HOw long do you stay with your bank?

use to bank at farm credit and then another large bank. I hate them loan committees. Loan officer would often say he needed to talk to the loan committee. WELL went to a nice small farm bank and guess what  I talk to (the loan commiittee) ( which is the banker owner) I get a yes or no immediately. Can call him on the phone on the weekend in case of emeregency and get go ahead. LOVE IT.

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Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: HOw long do you stay with your bank?

Except for a three-year detour into a commerical bank, when we bought/built this farm for one year,  and were tied up in litigation with its builder for two after that, I'd say we've always borrowed from Farm Credit, when borrowing.  

As for banking, we always used a regional bank that started in our area back home, my father knew the owner very well.  They had no branches here in NC, and it got to be too far to drive there for deposits and routine in-branch business - closest was 30-some miles away - before electronic banking took hold. 

We moved to BB&T locally, a huge bank in the Southeast.  At the same we beat that builder in court, we moved all of our business wherever we wanted it to go, around late 1996. 

 

Have stayed with them ever since...really like their people and the bank has been great to work with, even though it's "too big,"  I guess.  It was one that needed no bailout, and actually bought some failing banks, I think.  

If I knew then what I know now, I'd never have taken a commercial bank loan, and certainly not from the little crook who wrote ours.  She ended up caught in some bad stuff, right after I had a heart-to-heart conversation with her boss, and had to give the bank (Centura then, now RBC acquired) her home to stay out of jail.  Farm Credit, by comparison, has never given me a minute's concern as to ethics. 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: HOw long do you stay with your bank?

JR, Just out of curiosity, did you move from Michigan to Iowa? Seems like I remember you saying that but maybe I have you confused with somebody else? Anyway, why did you move your farm to Iowa? I think some of us here in the Eastern cornbelt see the rolling hills of Iowa and nice prarie ground and have thought of picking up the farm and heading west... On to the subject, I am still figuring out what bank works for me as Im a young farmer.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: HOw long do you stay with your bank?

YEa BK I moved from Michigan to iowa.  MY dad was born in the Union City area My Mom was born near Wayland. I was born in Battle Creek but grew up in Ionia county.  My Cousin was just out to visit from Union City. I know it pretty well/ JR

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Senior Advisor

Re: HOw long do you stay with your bank?

I've used the same two banks ever since I was a teenager.  I got into USAA when in the service, and still use their banking, investment and insurance products.  They have good online banking that I use for routine online bill paying and excellent customer service, as one would expect since they are used to supporting people all over the world.  My SS and other direct deposiits go to them.   For farming and personal accounts, I use a regional ag bank that our family has used for many years.  I shopped around once or twice and didn't see anything better.  As I'm getting closer to the end of my farming career, I don't expect I'll have any need to change.  I get good, pesonal service from the loan officer.  Sometime after I retire, I'll probably switch everything to USAA, but a local ag bank works best for me right now on the farming side of things.

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Contributor

Re: How long do you stay with your bank?

Questions to all:

-When you say loan terms, I assume you mean more than just rates / Fees?  More important would be the structure / repayment terms?

-When you apply to the lender are you looking for a yes/no answer (i.e.. Letting loan officer determine the feasibility) or you know you are doing it and are just looking for the best spot for the money?  I know this would depend on financial situation, but too many weak and strong credit customers place this decision onto me for what is best for their business.

-Everyone values their first lender  , for getting them into the business.  for how long? Or how much in rate difference?

 

 

I would say that most people are loyal to their existing lender, and that lender would need to screw up to prompt the customer to look around.  Thanks to all for educating me.

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Contributor

Re: HOw long do you stay with your bank?

Started with one small town bank in 1984 to start out.  They required co-signing and  a lot of hassle. 

 

Moved 4 yrs later to another small town bank about 30 miles away.  Dealt directly with the owner and could not have asked for a better arrangement.  Problem is, the now 80 something old owner last year sold the bank to a  regional bank.  His 2nd in charge was made the new branch manager and we get along good.  As long as we keep getting along, I expect to be there indefinitely.

 

I don't borrow large sums, so I don't get hung up on the absolute lowest rate.  In my personal opinion, I'd rather have the money available when I want, when I need it.  The local bank I'm with has made on the spot decisions for opportunities that have popped up.  The availability of the money was much more important to me in the long term than quibbling over 1/2 percent in interest.

 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: How long do you stay with your bank?

I have more loyalty towards the loan officer than to the institution.  If rates and terms are competitive, not necessarily the best, but as they're in the ballpark, I'll stay with the guy I know and trust.

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