Is Private Banking Right for You and Your Business?

Key Takeaways

  • Large commercial banks bring economies of scale, a commitment to technology, competitive lending rates, and interest-bearing accounts.
  • Commercial banks aren’t always the right option for individuals and businesses with complex financial structures and unique service needs.
  • A private banking relationship at a local or regional bank may help you navigate the complexities of your business and personal situation while providing a high level of customer service.

If you’re like many accomplished business owners and professionals, you’ve been so busy working that you didn’t notice how complex your financial life has become. That’s one of the downsides of success—you’ve accumulated substantial assets from a wide variety of sources and now you are responsible for monitoring, growing, and protecting those assets. Suffice it to say, your situation is way too complicated to do-it-yourself, and probably beyond the grasp of most brokers and robo advisors.

Private Banking

Some of your friends and professional colleagues may suggest private banking as a solution. Private banking is not the right choice for everyone, but you may want to consider it if you have a complicated financial structure and you prefer a hands-on relationship with your banker.

When it comes to private banking, there are generally two options:

  1. A large commercial bank
  2. A local or regional bank in your area

As with so many decisions in life, there are pros and cons to each. Let’s take a closer look:

Large Commercial Banking

Large commercial banks dominate the banking and lending environment and there are a lot of good reasons for that. They bring economies of scale, a commitment to technology, and many times, they are price leaders in lending rates and interest-bearing accounts. However, these banking behemoths also have their limitations. Lending decisions may be centralized in different parts of the country, turnover can be high, and your small business or personal situation may not be large enough to warrant a great deal of your banker’s attention. Throw in the complexity of your small business, your asset structure, and your complicated income sources, and it can be a challenge to navigate the banking structure in a large financial institution.

Small Local/Regional Banking 

Private banking at a local or regional bank offers an approach that’s more like the overall wealth management solutions we provide to our clients at Soundmark:

  • A single point of contact and a designated team that understands your goals and your overall asset structure, income structure, and business structure.
  • An emphasis on client service that allows you the freedom to focus on what is most important.
  • Tailored banking services and solutions based on your unique needs.
  • Coordination with other advisors to ensure the highest levels of service with solutions that are in line with your goals.
  • Localized lending decisions based on you and your business’ unique situation.

Lower Minimum Balances

Also, larger banks often require clients to keep substantial amounts of cash or investments in their accounts if they want to qualify for private banking services. Local banks typically require lower minimum account balances and offer more flexibility. This is especially important for clients who are business owners, or who hold assets in real estate, company stock through their employer, or who have funds in 401(k)s and other retirement accounts that may not be able to be moved. Local banks can also be a good solution for clients who like working with independent advisors, but who still want private banking services.

The Right Solution for You

You’ve worked very hard to get to where you are today. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your employees to find the best possible solution to meet your needs.

If you or someone close to you has concerns about the various moving parts of their financial life, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m happy to help connect you with the appropriate resources for your situation.


Todd Flynn, CPA, CFP® is a Principal at Soundmark Wealth Management, LLC. Todd works closely with physicians, business owners, and other successful and accomplished individuals to help them define their financial goals and implement an ongoing financial planning process.

Financial Plan = Freedom

In Soundmark Principal Bill Schultheis’ latest column, he reminds readers why it’s imperative to tune out the market noise – especially in our current economic climate. Bill created the tagline “How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on with Your Life” with the release of his book, The Coffeehouse Investor. Over 18 years … Continued

What to Do with Your Year-End Bonus

Key Takeaways Whether your bonus is delivered on a consistent schedule or is a pleasant year-end surprise, review your goals carefully before deploying those funds. Additional financial resources can help you accomplish more goals, reach your goals faster, and/or increase your current goals. Disciplined Microsoft employees can utilize a cash flow strategy that maximizes their … Continued

Soundmark Launches New Client Portal

We are proud to announce the launch of our new client portal. Replacing the Vault, the Tamarac client portal provides an enhanced client experience. Some of the new features include: View household accounts and transactions online View and link external accounts including retirement accounts, mortgages, bank accounts, and credit cards Add other assets such as … Continued

Doctors… Please Don’t Make These Mistakes

Do any of these sound familiar? Investing in startups or other long shot endeavors. Not focusing on what you do best. Being inadequately insured.  You are an expert in your field. You went to school for six to ten years longer than most college graduates and it’s paid off. You earn substantially more income than … Continued

Remember the Advantages of Global Diversification

With US stocks outperforming non-US stocks in recent years, some investors have again turned their attention towards the role that global diversification plays in their portfolios. While international and emerging markets stocks have delivered disappointing returns relative to the US over the last few years, it is important to remember that: • Non-US stocks help … Continued

The Best of 2018

What a year we’ve had! We shared a lot of information over the past year but wanted to highlight our most popular blogs. 1. Are You Taking Advantage of this Little-Known Microsoft Retirement Plan Benefit? One of the most generous, but under-utilized retirement benefits is called the “After-Tax Contributions.” Microsoft has added a provision to its … Continued

Market Thoughts

Markets around the globe have experienced sharp sell-offs over the past two months, driven in part by geopolitical tensions, uncertainty over trade tariffs, and in the U.S., a continued tightening by the Federal Reserve. We would like to take this opportunity to share our reflections on the current climate especially as it relates to our … Continued

Don’t Stop Just Because You’ve Reached a Goal

Key Takeaways Setting goals too low can be just as debilitating as setting goals too high. Don’t ever stop asking yourself, “How can I do better?” Your goals will and should change over time. Your financial advisor can be a great sounding board for setting realistic goals and devising strategies to achieve them. Goals are … Continued

Building Wealth That Matters

The most important component of embracing simplicity in building financial wealth might be that it allows you to focus on the type of wealth that matters most of all – the spiritual wealth of sharing your talents and wisdom with others. In Soundmark Advisor Bill Schultheis’ latest column, he describes a few ways you can … Continued