Sometimes the best way to grow your business may be to turn business away. At University National Bank & Trust Co., in Palo Alto, Calif., only checking-account customers may apply for loans, open savings accounts, or buy certificates of deposit. The aim? To build stronger customer alliances with the full range of the bank's services.
"The place where you have your checking account is the place where the relationship is," says Carl J. Schmitt, University National's founder and chairman. "They're the people you think of as your bankers."
The policy has meant turning away $25 million to $30 million in CD business in the past eight years, but Schmitt claims the trade-off has been worth it.
Indeed, customers have responded to the "relationship" -- sweetened by such perks as postage stamps at no extra cost and free shoe shines -- by putting more and more money into "their" bank. The institution's deposit base grew 40% last year.