Sure, it's tough times out there and the banks are not helping.
Currently the government is reaching out to the business community to find out if the banks are lending as they are claiming. I was contacted by the Canadian Venture Capital Association (CVCA) to add in our experiences over the past few months as Loewen & Partners places deals.
The banks are stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is not a sub prime crisis – it’s now a credit crisis.
Apparently, the banks are showing the government figures and reports that they are lending - they even had an 11% growth in lending this last month.
When you dig a bit deeper though, and ask if this is new lending or established lines of credit being drawn, the real picture emerges.
Business owners who are established clients are pulling down their lines of credit and tucking it under the mattress. That is not new lending on the books.
Loewen & Partners met with RBC this week and it was refreshing. RBC is doing something counter intuitive to all the other banks. They told us, "We want to lend." They say they are open for business.
As one of the account managers told me, “People remember how you treat them in the tough times.” RBC will probably scoop up some clients for life in this next year with this strategy and it will build a rock solid brand, one customer at a time. Smart work, RBC.