How to have a hassle-free bank review

Written by Rural Financial Counselling Service

The right advice: Your Annual Bank Review can be an opportunity to set your business up for success. Image: Shutterstock.

The right advice: Your Annual Bank Review can be an opportunity to set your business up for success. Image: Shutterstock.

If you're in business and have any kind of commercial lending facility with significant debt (generally upwards of $1m), you would be familiar with annual bank reviews.

Annual business reviews are a financial health check of your business so banks can minimise their risk and ensure you are able to continue servicing your debt. It is also something bank managers must do to update their records, comply with duty of care and due diligence requirements.

Here at Rural Financial Counselling Service, we talk to many agribusiness operators and business owners who have lost too much time and stress to bank reviews.

Here's three practical tips for an easy annual review:

  1. Give yourself time

Don't wait for them to contact you. Call and ask when 12 months is due and lock a time that works best for you. An annual business review can typically take 2-3 days and you'll want plenty of time to organise paperwork and put in place workarounds for the time you're dealing with the bank.

  1. Gather as much information as you can.

Identify exactly what your bank requires and give them all that plus some. Prepare explanations for any issues or variances in actuals versus budgets or predications. Consider and document your business goals, plans and contingencies for dealing with unforeseen changes in circumstance.

If you want some assistance to put your best foot forward, talk to one of our experienced team at the Rural Financial Counselling Service who can step your through your business goals, plans and budgets.

  1. Use the review to your advantage

An annual review is a great opportunity to look forward with your bank or lender and ensure you've got the right financial supports in place to achieve your success. At the very least, you need to make certain that you're being serviced appropriately for your business needs and goals.

  1. Ask for help

Enlist your accountant in the process, potentially even in the review itself. And reach out to a financial specialist such as a Rural Financial Counsellor, who can help you prepare for the review and work through any concerns with your financial situation.

The Rural Financial Counselling Service is a free service that connects you with a team of financial counsellors with knowledge across banking, agribusiness and other industries. We can guide you through annual reviews and negotiations with your lender. We're an independent and not-for-profit organisation with your best interests at heart.

With nothing to lose and plenty to gain, jump on the RFCS website to download your bank review checklist or call 1800 319 458 to talk to somebody today.