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Brand Story – Imagine, instead of talking to several bankers about multiple products and services at their bank, there was one person who brought together all of these experts on behalf of your business needs.

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This common sense approach known as a Relationship Management model, focuses on the “big picture” of what customers need from a financial partner to achieve their goals. Which means, rather than a model that encourages one-off products and services, a dedicated banker—with the experience and knowledge of the customer’s business—can draw upon the bank’s best talent on that customer’s behalf. This encourages cross-pollination and collaboration instead of siloed thinking. Surprisingly though, in 2019, it’s a rare model in the community commercial banking world.

Why? Mergers, for starters. All successful banks have mergers and acquisitions. But there’s a difference between those that put the customer relationship first versus those who insist on applying a corporate process without considering the history and knowledge between an existing banker and their customer.

Commercial banking customers at Heritage Bank can rely on a relationship manager to help them achieve their goals—by recommending sound banking strategies through a client-centered approach.

Case in point: a large property management company in the Portland area processes more than 2,000 rent check transactions each month. It would take up to two days and six people to process all of the transactions because the lack of connectivity with their outsourced accounting team.

The company has a long-standing relationship with their Portland-based Heritage Bank relationship manager and together they worked closely to develop an efficient solution. “Heritage Bank’s data governance officer and electronic banking manager spent a full day with the client to better understand the challenges,” said Emily Leach, senior vice president and commercial team leader. “The team devised a solution that reduced the number of people and time it took to clear the transactions.”

Stories like this are why the Relationship Management model makes sense for clients. Together they implemented a system based on their understanding of the client’s “big picture” needs, including an automated process and enhanced security.

Emily Leach WWEmily Leach is the commercial team leader at Heritage Bank and has been in the banking industry for 19 years. Her team is focused on commercial, nonprofits, schools and corporate sustainability. In her community, Emily volunteers at and supports Neighborhood House, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the Portland Rotary Club.

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