Deciphering the fees your bank charges your business can feel like trying to crack a code. Because every bank charges fees differently and under different names, it’s nearly impossible to make a logical comparison. Being aware of and understanding these fees can help you to make more informed decisions about the banking products and services you really need.
To begin, you should review your account analysis statement. Similar to your personal banking statements, account analysis statements are a detailed summary of your account activity over a certain period of time that includes important information such as your average balance and any fees charged to you.
Account analysis statements are not just unique to your business, but unique to the bank with which you’re working, as fees are named and charged differently from bank to bank. For example, one bank may charge Automated Clearing House (ACH) origination fees individually, so you would see little charges here and there. Another bank may lump those charges all together under one fee. This makes it difficult, even for seasoned banking professionals, to make simple apples-to-apples comparisons on fees.
Stacey Coyne, vice president of treasury management at Rockland Trust and one of our business banking experts, shared two examples of fees that business owners may want to understand more and review:
Diana Patten, Vice President of Business Banking at Rockland Trust, explained that business owners should periodically review their accounts. “Don’t just set up an account and let it ride for 10 years. It’s important to have a good line of communication with your banker. Ask your business banking officer questions and review your account analysis statements with them to determine if there are new or different products and services that work more efficiently, or can save you money,” she said.
Business banking is all about the relationship you have with your bank. Relationship pricing looks holistically at your accounts, as opposed to charging on a product-by-product basis. This means that the more services, such as commercial accounts and loans, that you have with a bank, the better the pricing options offered to you.
Another way to save some money is to ask your business banker about earnings credits. Operating in a similar fashion to interest, earnings credits are offered by your bank depending on the balances maintained in your business accounts. The earnings credit rate varies, but can be anywhere from .185 percent to 1.5 percent. You can use earnings credits to offset fees and certain banking services. If you have a surplus, the rest can be put into a money market account, allowing you to grow that money for other business needs.
Your bank may also offer free business checking accounts, or accounts with packaged fees that may be waived if you meet a minimum balance requirement or have a low number of transactions.
At Rockland Trust, we understand that as a business owner, you may not have time to sit down and decode your account analysis statement to understand which business banking fees you’re paying. That’s why our account analysis statements are simplified and easy-to-read. Even if you work with another bank, we offer complimentary account analysis reviews by our expert business bankers to see if you’re on the right track. These reviews may even save you money.
The best way to ensure that you’re setting up the right type of account for your business needs and goals is to speak with a banker about your options.
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Rockland Trust gives you a variety of services that help you use and manage your accounts, whenever and wherever you want.