What are the Advantages of Relationship Banking?

What are the Advantages of Relationship Banking?



Picture this, you are having issues with your bank account and you need to call your bank to resolve it but you end up in a long queue of calls with a call center trying to give you a mediocre solution to your problem. What if there’s someone you can trust and deal with when times get hard or someone who will go out of his way, even amidst a rehearsal dinner, to help you? 

If you’re gonna ask Randy what’s the ultimate goal he has in mind when talking about helping clients, without a doubt the answer would be: building relationships. 

Randy Morgan works at M&T Bank as a Branch Manager in Denville, New Jersey. He wears a lot of hats in his role but his specialty is working with a lot of small businesses. M&T Bank is one of the top 20 full-service U.S.-based commercial banks, with 17,000 employees and a long history of community-focused banking. 

As a small business owner, whether you've been around for two weeks or 20 years, he’s here to genuinely help. They're not here to push products but to bring service and as Dennis puts it, “you want someone who's human” and that’s what Randy brings to the table. His job is to keep it real with their clients and to really let them know what the boundaries are.

M&T Business Banking

For instance, if you come in and you're making a gross amount of 100, your net is 50 and you want a 250,000 line of credit, Randy will let you know you're not there yet, but at the same time, he’s going to try and make it happen down the road. The goal is to keep it real, why you need that line of credit and help you get to what you need.

What’s unique about the way Randy helps their client at M&T, that no one else does, is you can always typically get a hold of him. For instance, he was at a wedding last month and at the rehearsal dinner, he got an email from a client. It was an easy answer so he was able to just email them right there at the rehearsal dinner and get it done. For him, building a relationship by helping clients is the main goal.

Randy mentioned that they’re not heavy-handed with fees and they're not here to just juice everyone with fees every month. They’re genuinely here to help. In fact, they'll try to help you avoid any fees. And if there is a fee, they'll discuss it with the clients and help figure it all out. 

He likes what they do - being active with the local communities where they have branches. For instance, downtown Denville is a very special place. It's like a mini town made up of 20-30 small businesses like diners and candy shops. They do events there constantly, especially in the summer. There's Denville after Dark, and in October they do Pink Witches night.

As a bank, they actually get to join all these events and get volunteer hours each year to go out in the community. They do this anywhere, not just in Denville, as long as it's about helping out. M&T bank has been around for about six years now and it's just been a great ride for Randy. 

Because of all that’s happening in 2020, everybody and every business need their bank for PPP loans. But with bigger and known banks, if you're not a multi-million dollar client, forget about it, you're a nobody. So M&T thought outside the box and took a lot of its people out of the branch, sent them home to work with their laptops, and just do PPPs. 

Relationship Banking

Let's say George didn't sign something. But because Randy, as the branch manager, knows him so well, he can just reach out to him directly instead of George going through the hassle of a call center somewhere. These things are handled really well and have a proven success rate of 97%, and 92% of these were small businesses.

A lot of people relied on this way of banking last year and they were able to build more relationships that way. Randy highly recommends that even if you don't bank with them, have a point person at your existing bank, have someone you can work with, or someone you can deal with when times get hard and when times are good. Nowadays, it seems like a lot of banks are only there for you when times are good. But at M&T they try to be there through it all. So the most important thing is just to keep in touch with your bank. 

Randy added that in life there are different things going on all the time and your bank doesn't know everything that's going on as much as they try to. He encourages everyone that if you have a banking issue let them know because they might have an easy fix for it. 

Best Relationship Banker in New Jersey 

Dennis Harabin: When I’m talking with someone, especially if they're one of our team groups, I always say “do you have an account with Randy? It's not even with M&T bank but Randy. Chris can attest to that because he always talks “as Randy moves branches you want to move with Randy”. I mean he's just a wonderful banker. That relationship piece can't say enough. 

My only question for you is now that you've changed branches, does that have any impact now that you have your own branch, or can you really get people from anywhere?

Randy: Pretty much. I mean we're gonna try to focus on mostly New Jersey customers. I can't really do stuff typically out of New York or the tri-state area. But the goal is more local New Jersey customers. What's interesting too is all of us talk to each other. Even with the staff, I opened up in my last branch, Parsippany, we can still collaborate with both branches to get things done. So we're not fighting over who's got Chris, of course, we're going to fight over Chris every time but we're not fighting over “oh no, that's mine, that's yours” it's just it all just comes together.

Drew Deraney: I'm currently an M&T bank customer. I live in Ho-Ho-Kus and I use the branch in Waldwick. If I need help with something, can I just call you directly regardless of what branch I usually go to?

Randy: Right and that's what's cool about the digital space and the relationship. For instance, if Chris calls me and he goes “hey, I need a new debit card”.  I'm like all right Chris, we'll take care of you because I know you. If it's somebody we don't know, it's a little bit tougher until we get to know him and build a relationship with him. But if Chris calls me, Drew George, Dennis, any of you guys, I can help you out right then and there. It makes it a lot easier instead of you having to travel to a branch. I know some people are a little farther away from a branch but I tell a lot of people too when they go “well, you don't really have a branch near me”. I go “well, how often are you going to the branch?” It's just so much more convenient if you have a point person like myself. You can email me, call me, and unless you need cash or like a cashier's check or a wire, I pretty much do anything. If you do a lot of wires, I can even help you out with that.  It's kind of full service where you can pretty much get anything done that you need to get done.”

Chris Lipper: I came to M&T after having a horrible situation with my previous bank. They opened my account wrong and all deposits, a year's worth of deposits, had to be returned based on their mistake. That was a nightmare and I ran to Randy's previous branch and I knew the manager there and they were terrific. I think Randy had just started with that branch at that time and it's been a great relationship. We've done a lot of events together. They support my networking events and I support theirs. And now that I've moved out of state, I'll have to find a new bank but I haven't had to. I'm in Woodstock, New York, and M&T seems to be everywhere up here. It is down there and that's very nice but I still hold on to the relationship down there. because it just doesn't matter right everything's virtual everything's on the phone and it really doesn't matter. When do we go to the bank anyway?

Exceptional Customer Service in Banking

Randy can also help you out if you run into or get hit with a lot of merchant fees. Because every time you go to a deli or a diner, they're swiping your card and they're probably getting hammered each time. One thing that M&T does better than most is that their fees are in-house, they do free merchant reviews and they could try to get those fees down for you.

Randy invites everyone to always reach out even if they don't bank with M&T. If you have a bank question, don't hesitate to reach out to him. Most products are different at different banks, but a lot of it's still relatively the same so if you have questions he will answer or he'll ask somebody who might know. Give him a call, send him an email, just let him know and he’s always ready to help you out.

If you know anyone or anyone out there who's looking to start a relationship with their bank, try Randy’s phenomenal service.


IRandy Morgan - M&T Bank

Founded in 1856, M&T provides commercial, retail, business, investment, mortgage, and professional banking services through more than 750 branches and 1,800 ATMs throughout New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Get to know Randy Morgan more! 

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