3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2009

Mike Newbold joined The Huntington National Bank as the Central Indiana region president in 2007 following the merger with Sky Financial Group, where he previously served in the same capacity. Newbold has more than 30 years in the banking industry and is a member of multiple board and organizations, including the Executive Advisory Board of the Miller College of Business at Ball State University.

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

The first thing is for the company to be open and honest with their bank. If they’re experiencing what I would call bumps in the road, it is a very, very positive thing to talk with your bank about that. Bankers, just like businesses, don’t like surprises. If the client can be forthright and open with us, then that gives us an opportunity to sit down and structure solutions with them.

Q. Do companies withhold information during difficult times?

Fortunately, no. Most companies are fairly open in a relationship, but when companies do tend to communicate a little bit less is in times of stress. There are some companies that frankly don’t want to disclose that to their banker. That’s really kind of a prescription for disaster, because, ultimately, if there is a problem, then the communication becomes far more difficult.

Q. What should a business ask its bank to make sure its plan is strong?

First and foremost, question No. 1 to the banker would be: Do you understand what our vision (is) and what our plan is? If the bank doesn’t know where the company is going to go strategically or where they’re trying to take the company on a day-to-day basis, it’s pretty difficult for the bank to be a partner. Another question perhaps could be asking about various alternatives as opposed to a single course of action. In other words, if I have an opportunity or a problem out in front of me, can the banker help me with multiple courses of action so we can look at the whole spectrum of opportunity.