I bet you thought bank fees were written in stone; untouchable and definitely not up for discussion. You are wrong and that is a good thing. Everything can be negotiated, and when a lender wants your businesses they will deal.

Banks make a lot of money on fees and will sometimes use a loan as a loss leader so they can get a commercial client’s valuable treasury management business. Treasury management services include lockbox, check payment administration, wire transfers, positive pay and ACH payments, to name a few.

So it’s always a good idea to sit down with bank representatives to learn what new services and processes are available and how you can cut some costs. Some banks even offer services aimed at improving the accounts payable function such as e-invoicing and e-payment solutions. These services allow the bank to offer supplier financing/dynamic discounting services by paying the invoices within the discount terms and you pay the bank the full invoice amount minus a percentage of the invoice discount. With this setup, your organization can reduce its working capital needs—and your vendors get access to capital, often at a better interest rate than borrowing from a bank. In essence, you are able to take the invoice discount—but you have to give some of it to the bank that steps in and pays the invoice.

Find the Deals

What banks offer the best treasury management rates? To get a global perspective on bank fees, The Blue Book of Bank Prices, published by Phoenix Hecht, is a good source of information. The Blue Book reports on both the highest- and lowest-priced services among banking institutions to see how costs are trending. It is well worth the effort to save big on bank fees!