What defines excellence when fulfilling the needs of a banking client?

What defines excellence when fulfilling the needs of a banking client?

With over forty years in the banking industry, including five as Head of Private Clients for a major high street bank, I’m passionate about the kind of service that a private banking can provide. As a Banking Director with Hampden & Co, my role is about delivering exceptional service to our clients.

Here are my seven signs that your bank delivers excellent service.

A single point of contact

Consistency is crucial. Knowing you can call your banker directly and pick up the conversation where you left off is not only convenient and efficient, but also means they develop a full understanding of your personal situation and can tailor their support accordingly.

A choice of ways to get in touch

Having a direct line to your banker is all very well, but sometimes you may just want to dash off an email or text message (or whatever communication service you like to use), while at other times you need the kind of interaction only a face-to-face meeting can provide – which should be at a time and place that you have chosen. A truly personal service will offer a range of contact options at your convenience, combining modern technology with a more traditional approach to make managing your money as frictionless as possible.

Tailored solutions

Having got to know you and your financial situation, the next step is to deliver the most appropriate solutions. Most large banks are tied to a specific set of products, but tailored private banking hinges on providing a bespoke solution that best supports the client’s need. This is only possible if those dealing with the client have a degree of autonomy, and the bank itself is flexible enough to base its offering on service rather than ‘product’.

A long-term relationship

Any private bank worth its salt should place great value on forming lasting relationships with its clients. It’s not rocket science, but as a banker, knowing my clients well means I’m far better placed to appreciate and identify their needs and deliver exceptional service. A client who enjoys a strong relationship with their banker is also far more likely to place trust in them over the longer term – so stability of the banking team plays a key role.

Close, but not intrusive

On the other hand, while relationships are important, they should never come at the cost of privacy. Every client has their own interpretation of ‘private’. Some choose to build a friendship with their banker, while others keep things on a purely professional basis. Every client is unique and, while they should determine the terms of engagement, there’s no substitute for discretion.

Speed of service and decision making

One of the standout benefits a private bank should be able to provide is a quick decision on any financial requirements you may have. As with most organisations, the bigger the bank, the more drawn out its administrative processes tend to be. Boutique private banks have two advantages: they’re more likely to be fully aware of your financial situation, and they will have a shorter and more direct decision-making process.

When they say no, they provide an explanation

Finally, what happens should the answer be no? Part of providing a high-quality service is taking the time to explain why any decision was made, and ideally how we can collaborate with a client to help them achieve their end goal, or alternatively who else might be able to help.

George is a banker in our Edinburgh office.

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