Kevin Gillen is the regional president for Metro D.C. and Florida, which includes South Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Prior to being appointed to his current position, Gillen served for 10 years as the market manager for the bank’s central market, which includes portions of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Q. Communication is important, but how else can a business develop a strong relationship with its bank?
Whether or not you’re using your bank for treasury cash management services or credit, your accountant, your attorney and your banker are absolutely essential. Is the bank safe? Do they have the capacity and capability to lend money? Safety today is a huge concern for businesses of all sizes. The ability to work with a safe bank that is well-capitalized and well-run is an indication that the bank is not going to go through a merger or an acquisition.
Q. Is it any more difficult now than it was in 2009 for a business to obtain a loan from a bank?
The underwriting standards and parameters have definitely been tightened throughout the industry, and in many cases, rightfully so. I’ll just throw out one example. If you have a lender who might have done a credit at 1-to-1 or a buck-ten, and you haven’t done any kind of sensitivity analysis in there and there’s a problem, any number of things could happen. I just think you’re setting your customer up. While the customer may think they need and want us, a certain level of debt and the access to credit is a crapshoot, especially if they haven’t been able to demonstrate the ability to support that in the past.
Q. What general advice do you give your own clients today?
Small and medium businesses, especially today, have to do a budget and it has to be updated a minimum of once a quarter. The other important tool is a monthly cash-flow analysis. What did I sell? What did I bill? What did I collect? What was my beginning cash? What did I pay out in all my bills? What’s my ending cash? At the end of the day, there is no better tool.