Having spent 33 years advising businesses on how best to procure something they frequently needed (debt), and then helping the business owners look after what they had accumulated (cash), it is only when you move into a different role that you realise what a great educator the passage of time can be.

Businesses and their shareholders have seen significant change from their banks in recent times, whether it involves their debt being sold, a requirement of growth funding, being moved to specialist lending (sometimes referred to as bad bank), sector over-exposure, limited appetite for the lending opportunity or the often-heard refrain of: ‘It’s too early’.

Since leaving the banking world, during which time I learnt a huge amount and worked with some great people it never ceases to amaze me how that knowledge and network can help businesses with one of their most critical business relationships – namely managing their bank, or banks.

Entrepreneurs want to run a successful business, but it does not always mean they are fully equipped (they can’t know what they don’t know), on how best to engage with their banking partner to achieve the most appropriate outcome.

A major change in recent years has been the growing importance of language – how to best understand the credit appetite and sector position of the lender, how to position your request, benchmark your total facility and spend time maintaining or creating alternative relationships.

No lender ever wants to lose a customer if they can help it, as winning a new one or a re-bank as it is now called is increasingly challenging and costly against a market in which there is currently more supply of debt than demand.

It is very important that business owners should focus on creating a strong multi-layered relationship with their existing lender even if they hold cash as you never know when you may need to make that call.

However, should you encounter challenges in any aspect of your requirement or are just looking for a sounding board, it is a good plan to consider asking someone who will ‘Know what you don’t know’ – saving you time, money and pain.

For more information contact:

Murdoch MacLennan

Partner, Banking Specialist and Head of Brewing & Distilling


0141 886 6644

The information in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding in May 2019. Laws and tax rules may change in the future.