Your bank is not your friend

Your situation — and for small business owners, your company’s — is about to change for the worse.

Many of the new banking regulations passed in the wake of the financial collapse will dramatically cut into banks’ profits.

Unless banks decide to be generous and eat the loss, expect a host of new fees on some services, higher fees on those you already pay, and increased account limits and minimums and other changes as banks look to make up the difference. In other words, the era of free banking is essentially over.

Some ways to minimize the damage to your bottom line

  • Shop around — smaller community banks may be more willing to cut a deal to get an account, especially your corporate accounts.
  • Look for online options — especially ideal for personal accounts; online banks (and online accounts from some brick and mortar banks) tend to have lower fees and pay higher interest rates. Bonus: For road warriors, it’s much easier to bank on-the-go with an online bank.
  • Bulk banking — multiple accounts (personal checking, mortgage refi, small biz checking, etc.) give you a lot more leverage when negotiating. Even if you’d prefer to move/open only one kind of account, remind the bank of the other business opportunities it could be missing out on.

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