Bank relationship managers (RMs) are getting better at providing advice to middle-market banking clients. Banks that excel in this increasingly critical area dominate the list of winners of the 2016 Greenwich Excellence Awards in Middle Market Banking.
With commercial banking becoming ever more competitive and banking products increasingly commoditized, the ability of bank RMs to differentiate their offerings with relevant advice is essential. In past years, however, many banks struggled to build the types of consultative relationships that would make themselves and their RMs stand out.
The list of 2016 Greenwich Excellence Award winners reveals significant progress on that front. In 2015, only 47% of mid-sized companies participating in the Greenwich Associates annual study cited “excellent” satisfaction with the quality of advice provided by their Relationship Manager; in 2016 that rating climbed to 56%. Over the same period, the share of companies giving top ratings to their bank RMs’ understanding of their industry grew to 56% from 49%.
“These improvements are important to banks because advisory-oriented approaches to relationship management yield more loyal, profitable customers,” says Greenwich Associates consultant Duncan Banfield. “The best bank RMs provide clients with advice on topics ranging from cash management, growth strategies, M&A and succession planning to introductions to professional advisors, suppliers and even new customers.”
2016 Greenwich Excellence Awards
This year Greenwich Associates evaluated the Middle Market Banking platforms of more than 600 banks. Of these, only 37 had the distinctive quality required to win a Greenwich Excellence Award. The Greenwich Excellence Awards cover a range of qualitative categories, including Overall Satisfaction, Likelihood to Recommend, Credit Process, Ease of Product Implementation, Customer Service, Digital Functionality, and other important factors.
“It is no accident that our research shows a strong correlation between consultative, RM-based factors like ‘Proactively Provides Advice’ and ‘Industry Expertise,’ and key business performance metrics such as Overall Satisfaction and Likelihood to Recommend,” says Duncan Banfield.
Frost Bank was the year’s big winner, taking home 17 national and regional Excellence Awards. Huntington National Bank and City National Bank made a strong showing with 13 awards, followed by Synovus Financial with 12 awards.
Click here for the complete list of the 2016 Greenwich Excellence Award winners in U.S. Middle Market Banking.