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April – Interview with Jennifer Hisdorf

April – Fraud Prevention

This month I wanted to focus on fraud, specifically banking fraud.  It is so critical as a business owner that we know what our responsibilities are.  I think it is important for me to pass on information as I learn of it.

I had the pleasure of spending time with Jennifer Hisdorf – she is the VP, Treasury Management Banker at Brentwood Bank.

My goal was to find out how to interview my banker. I wanted to find out if they are right for my business. How do I know what bank is right for me, if I do not already have a banking relationship? What are some questions I should be asking?

Here is what Jennifer said:

These are the top 5 Questions you should be asking your banker:

1. How can we grow together? It is important to ask your banker how they see your relationship growing, developing. How can you help each other?

2. What is your lending process? (Be proactive, ask this question early.) When do you determine that you need a loan?  What is the process you have to go through, how do you qualify? Understanding this early on will help prepare you.

3. Does your bank understand your Industry?

What is the asset size of the Bank
Is it bigger – less personal?
Are the leaders of the bank involved in the Community – I mean actively involved?
Is there Diversity at the Bank?
Are they part of the FHLB (Federal Home Loan Bank System) Bank to Banks
Do they have offerings for Minority and Women owned businesses? BOBIE (fhlb-pgh.com/bob) – Banking on Business – Loans gap coverage for             minority and women owned businesses.

4. Does the bank align with the statement and vision of your business? What are the plans for the bank in the future?

5. Protecting Assets Security and Fraud – You need to understand your responsibility as a business owner, and understand the banks responsibility. Business banking is very different from personal banking, basically the same fraud rules do not apply. Did you know that you have 24 hours to report a fraudulent activity on your business bank account for your business to not loose the money. If you do not report the incident within 24 hours you more than likely will not receive any reimbursement, therefore resulting in a loss of income.

Brentwood bank has put together a 30 minute presentation called: “Pillars of Banking – Protecting your Money”.

I encourage everyone to watch this and your banker these tough questions.