Many of the large banks offer the services of a personal banker, otherwise known as a private banker or relationship manager. Supposedly if you have a personal banker you get preferential treatment, special access to advisors and the best solutions offered to you. You’d also expect that you’re being offered the best rates on your deposits and loans.

In this era when we look back fondly at the days when your bank manager at your local branch knew your name, it sounds so appealing to have an actual contact person at the bank rather than just a phone number for the call centre.

However, having a private banker tied up in your financial affairs doesn’t necessarily work in your favour.

For a start, remember that this person works for one bank only. How can they promise to get you the best deal, when they have a vested interest, indeed a restriction, to only sell you products and loans from their bank? Can you recall the last time your private banker rang you to say they’ve reviewed your loan and found that you’re paying too much?

Competition is rich at the moment and all the lenders are willing to fight to win your business if you are a new client. However once you are locked in with one lender, they rely on your loyalty and complacency to keep you there, and they no longer woo you with the best deals. Loyalty to your bank can cost you money.

We had a client with a $1.75 million loan with one of the big banks. He had $12 million worth of assets tied up as security for the loan. His personal banker assured him that he was being well looked after and was getting the best deal possible.

Due to our market insight we knew that the lender could come up with more favourable terms. With our assistance liaising with the bank, we saved the client a total of $50k plus reduced the value of properties the bank had tied up as security. In the three years since then, we’ve been actively involved in every transaction this client has completed.

Secondly, the purpose of the private banker is to build a long term relationship. However the common frustration for clients is that they just start to feel comfortable and familiar with their banker, when they are suddenly replaced by a new person. And with each private banker responsible for a portfolio of over 300 clients you can understand why sometimes the personal touch is lost.

It was the frustration at seeing examples like this time after time that prompted us to create Edney Ryan Mortgage & Finance. We wanted to save our clients money, and to do that we required a genuinely independent person to compare offers from all the lenders.

Actions speak louder than titles, so while we may not call ourselves your personal banker, we’ll not only find you the best deal, we’ll also take your calls personally, review your loans proactively, liaise with the banks on your behalf and get the results, all with your needs in mind, not the banks.