5 Factors for Choosing the Right Banking Partner

People in a meeting smiling and shaking hands

Key takeaways:

  • Modern businesses need financial agility to compete in the marketplace.
  • Ensure your banking partner has a wide range of services and a global reach to support your business growth and international expansion.
  • Consider factors like online banking, specialized advisory services, and needs-based focus when choosing a banking partner for your business.

Looking for a banking partner?

The right banking partner will come alongside your business, unlocking its potential through dynamic products and services. While you spend time thinking about how to grow and optimize your business, your banking partner will spend time thinking about how to help you manage financial needs.

With this role in mind, it’s critical to take an expansive look at your banking options. Interest rates and loan options are important, but don’t stop your analysis there.

In today's fast-paced, digital, and global economy, your business needs financial agility to keep up with the competition. You need a bank that not only offers strong products, but can provide the necessary support, services, and flexibility to help you maintain growth.

To identify the best bank for your unique needs, it's important to carefully assess your business's current standing and the specific options available on the market.

Here are five key factors to consider when making your decision:

1. Online banking options

Don’t compromise convenience and accessibility when it comes to your banking partner.

As consumers navigate the fast-paced world of cloud, web, and mobile apps, it's essential for you to manage your back-office systems with equal speed and efficiency. If interacting with your bank is limited to in-person visits, you may find your business lagging behind competitors who enjoy more convenient banking methods.

Online banking offers several key advantages: increased visibility and access to your capital, reduced operating time, simplified payments, and integration with your systems. These features can unlock valuable savings you can invest in other parts of your company.

Make sure your banking partner has a robust online banking suite to meet your needs.

2. Specialized advisory services

Most banks walk you through the use of accounts and loan types; most banks also share just enough information to nudge you towards a purchase decision.

As a business owner, your company needs a banking partner who understands your industry's unique characteristics and the market's fluctuations. Seek out a bank that advises you on services and lending options tailored to promote your growth, not theirs.

Specifically, determine whether the banks you're considering have advisors with specialized knowledge in your industry, complementing their general banking expertise. Further, ask for specific examples of clients who grew using their services.

Make sure your banking partner is truly on your side.

3. Needs-based services

Banks typically fall into two categories: product-based and needs-based.

A product-based organization starts every conversation with the products they offer–accounts, loans, services, etc. They then work to fit your needs into the right product. This approach limits the view of your needs to a specific solution, rather than the larger landscape.

In contrast, a needs-based organization looks at your organization holistically. They recognize the interplay between banking, insurance, wealth management, and legal issues. And they adapt their advice to meet your needs, not the products on offer.

Make sure your banking partner is taking a needs-first approach.

4. Service breadth

You have a complex business. You need a bank that can adapt to the complexity.

In today’s environment, your business is likely stretched in multiple directions at once. You have to react quickly to the market, ramping up teams here and pivoting teams there. To fully service your needs, a banking partner must have the service capability to work alongside you.

This may mean applying growth strategies in one segment of the organization, while applying a conservative approach to investment in another segment. Or it may mean integrating investment, lending, and other business-focused services to meet rising challenges.

Make sure your banking partner has adequate breadth.

5. Global reach

Digital technologies are breaking down traditional boundaries between customers and businesses, opening the door for geographic expansion.

With customers equipped to learn about and interact with brands in new, more intuitive ways, and with import and export opportunities ever-expanding, organizations must be prepared to operate across national borders. This means managing customer interactions, employment, foreign currency risks, and supply chain issues across the globe.

Banks with dedicated international services can make it easier to transition to a global business model, even in small ways, as your company grows.

Make sure your banking partner has global reach.

Comerica is here to help

At Comerica, we’re a trusted banking partner to thousands of businesses. Our commercial bankers bring a wealth of experience and tailor solutions to your specific needs. We have a full suite of world-class online banking and international services to help your business grow and expand.

Find a Comerica banking center near you to get started.


Comerica ranks first nationally among U.S. financial holding companies with greater than $60B in assets, based on commercial and industrial loans outstanding as a percentage of assets, as of December 31, 2022. Data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

This information is provided for general awareness purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal or compliance advice.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. While the information contained within has been compiled from source[s] which are believed to be reliable and accurate, Comerica Bank does not guarantee its accuracy. Consequently, it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor be relied upon as such.

Related Content