3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2009

Mark Grescovich has more than 21 years of experience in commercial banking, risk management, leasing and consumer banking. Grescovich serves as executive vice president and chief corporate banking officer for FirstMerit Corp. and FirstMerit Bank N.A. He assumed the role and responsibility for the bank’s commercial and regional line of business in 2007.

Q. What role does a bank play in assisting businesses in a down economy?

In a challenging economy, a bank’s role as trusted adviser is more important than ever. Specific areas of assistance in uncertain times that a bank can help their clients and their advisers with is prudently making the right amount of capital available to weather any of the storms that exist out there. It’s also providing services to help companies increase their cash flow because obviously cash generation is important at this point in time.

Q. What are ways a company can work with its bank to save money and become more efficient?

First of all, as issues arise, openly discuss them with the bank. Business owners should feel free to have that conversation with their relationship manager. Sharing ideas through open dialogue can lead to tailored solutions that work for both the client and the bank. In essence, look for a bank that offers a full array of financial products that will save time and money for the business owners. Examples of that would be a complete array or suite of treasury management services, equipment leasing products and other options that will allow them to maximize cash flow and save time.

Q. What information should a business update its bank on?

I think its primary business plans, the challenges it faces, industry dynamics that may be particular to a particular business are very important, and, quite frankly, understanding the value proposition and management depth of a business. A bank wants to be in a position to support its clients, and the way it supports its clients is understanding as much as it can about a particular business and how it operates.