Your banker can be an ally |

Your banker can be an ally

Adam Fortier
Aspen, CO Colorado

Nationwide, current economic uncertainties have created a market in which it is increasingly difficult to obtain financing.

Due to the sub-prime debacle, financing in real estate matters such as mortgages, refinancing, construction loans, etc. are far more challenging to acquire in comparison to last year.

The Federal Reserve is slashing interest rates to keep a recession at a minimum, while tightening controls and regulations on banks. This, in effect, has altered what bankers can achieve for their customers.

Colorado is currently seen as a declining real estate market, and real estate related loans are becoming difficult to obtain. Lending has slowed because of the regulatory environment that banks are currently facing.

Therefore, banks are turning away new loan requests left and right while writing off non-producing loans at the same time, thus creating a credit crunch. This is a drastic change from six months ago when banks were able to compete for business.

Although Colorado has a declining real estate market, the local Aspen market still remains fairly strong compared to many places in the United States. Aspen has seen a decline in real estate sales volume by approximately 50 percent compared to last year; however, sales price per square foot is relatively unchanged.

With the international clientele base and wealth that Aspen attracts, the economic recession seen throughout our country is typically shorter in Aspen.

Although Aspen has a much stronger economy than other resort towns, obtaining loans can still be difficult. Establishing a relationship with a local bank can greatly benefit customers in times of economic uncertainty.

Beneficial relationships are the result of several years of consistent banking that is productive and sustainable for both parties. Developing such a relationship with a bank doesn’t necessarily require a lengthy period of time, but it does entail working with the same bank for at least a few years and conducting business in a professional manner.

Keeping deposits, loans, online banking, cash management, etc. with the same bank creates a loyal relationship benefiting both parties and ensuring opportunities for future business.

Relationship banking helps during unstable economic times because you have an ally ” your banker. Although bank regulators have stepped up the level of criteria to obtain financing, your banker will help you to obtain mortgages, construction loans, etc. that were easily achieved last year, but are difficult to attain today. Although your bank will work hard for an existing relationship, patience and understanding will be required to deliver even typical products in comparison to previous years due to these tightened regulations.

Existing relationships are much more profitable to a bank, and years of loyalty strengthen business even during periods of turmoil in the economy.

It is highly advisable to develop and maintain a close knit relationship with your bank as they have proven to be far more successful than new business over the past six months and will continue to be until economic conditions improve.