Do I Really Need a Relationship With My Banker?


The world has gone increasingly digital. From our schools going distance learning to most professions working from home. Digital communication has not only become standard, but required, in order to do business in this new reality.   

However, great technology does not, and should not, replace the need for relationships. Let me say that again for the people in the back – great technology does not, and should not, replace the need for relationships. 

In banking, the world seems to be at your fingertips. From online bill pay to mobile deposits, you can do almost everything without coming into the bank. So, many people wonder if a relationship with your bank is important. Spoiler alert – IT IS – here’s why.   

Your banker can be your advocate

As your advocate, your banker will get to know you, your plans, your dreams and seek to understand your story. When you’re asking for loan funds to build your new office or purchase that new piece of equipment, your banker will go to the table for you (literally, we have a table that we sit around to make lending decisions) and fight for you and your dreams. It’s not all based strictly on the numbers because we make lending decisions differently. They’ll consider your plans, your growth strategy, your potential; so much more than just submitting an application through an email. How cool is that?! 

Your bank is a partner…especially when it hits the fan

I can’t tell you how many times during the COVID-19 pandemic we heard that our bankers were more accessible and responsive than the big, national banks. When things went wrong in 2020, our business clients were able to call their banker on the phone and get answers to their questions really quickly. Further, so many of our small businesses were able to get access to PPP funds from the Small Business Administration because their Deerwood Business Banker was available, responsive, and advocating for them. 

Your bank should be a referral source

Really good relationships are mutually beneficial, right? Your business banker should know what you do and be able to refer business to you when the opportunity presents itself. It’s one of the perks of working with a community bank – our business bankers work and play in the same communities that you do! We want to see you succeed, and we’d love to bring business to you when we can.

Your banker can be a trusted advisor

Our business bankers at Deerwood work with hundreds of small businesses. And, most of our business bankers have been in the industry for a couple of decades, so they’ve learned a thing or two along the way. We often have business clients tell us that their banker is so much more than a banker, but really a business advisor who they go to for counsel and advice on a myriad of business topics. 

So even though you can do most things online – including a lot of your banking – there are still really compelling reasons to build a relationship with your business banker. Especially in a time of COVID, being in a relationship with people is just better, isn’t it?!

John Ohlin close up

John Ohlin

Office: 218.316.3505

John Ohlin is the President and CEO of Deerwood Bank. He has been with Deerwood since 2004 and is based out of the Baxter office. John graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He then went on to graduate from the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking in 2007. In his spare time John enjoys travelling with his wife and playing golf at the nearest course.

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