• 1 Be prompt, attentive and sincere

    Robert Bean

    AVP & Branch Manager
    Winnipeg, MB

    Robert often starts his banking relationships with what seems like an odd request: “I ask my clients to pretend I’m a contractor and we’re building their dream home.” Soon, the analogy makes sense. “To build something perfect requires clear communication so I can fully understand their needs and expectations.” And after 35 years, attentiveness is still integral to how he operates: “I take the time to understand their business and their banking needs. I make sure my clients know they can trust and rely on me.”

  • 3 Exceed expectations by doing the extras

    William Lee

    AVP, Retail Banking
    Calgary, AB

    Even 23 years in the banking industry hasn’t jaded William; he still believes it’s the small things that make all the difference. He works hard to get to know his clients’ needs by working closely with other members of his branch team to gain a complete picture of the clients’ unique business and personal financial needs. But William believes it’s also the extra mile that makes his client relationships work: “I meet with them at their convenience, deliver on time or ahead, celebrate their personal milestones and make sure they know I appreciate their business.” From large to small gestures, he’s happy to do them because “without clients, I have no job”.

  • 4 Never stop learning

    Victoria Pang

    Manager, Commercial Banking
    Victoria, BC

    Victoria’s drive and desire to learn is what fuels her relationships with her clients: “Whether I’m gaining new skills or learning more about my clients’ businesses, it all adds up to finding out more about myself and the world around me.” And when she learns more about her world, she’s able to provide unexpected solutions for her clients that they may not have considered. After 23 years, Victoria still finds career happiness in constantly gaining knowledge about her clients and staying truly interested in their businesses.

  • 5 Don’t be an order taker

    James Lowrie

    Sr. Manager, Commercial Banking
    Regina, SK

    James understands that sometimes you have to look past client requests to find the true need – and the best solution. After 14 years in the industry, James finds the most beneficial client relationships are the ones that work as partnerships: “I do not look at my relationship with my clients as strictly a service, but a type of partnership where all parties involved can benefit from the outcome.” These benefits are a direct product of the mutual appreciation inherent in James’ client relationships: “I treat all my clients with respect, integrity and honesty. In turn, I believe, they look to me for advice on banking matters and appreciate what I do for them.”

  • 6 A good banking relationship can help steer a ship in rough water

    Scott Bearss

    Sr. Manager, Commercial Banking
    Panorama Ridge Branch
    Surrey, BC

    Scott’s objective is to make clients feel proud they chose CWB. Even when everything on the ‘wish list’ isn’t possible: “When an outright ‘yes’ isn’t reasonable, the key is to work with the client to develop options that work.” Scott’s confidence in providing options lies in his genuine belief that clients shouldn’t be pigeonholed. “Every client is unique. Throwing clients a suite of pre-packaged products is often ineffective, so a down-to-earth, practical approach is appreciated.” For Scott, this tactic only works if you’re authentic and honest: “We’re not saving lives, but a trusted relationship between a banker and a client can certainly make lives easier.”

  • 7 A call from a banker isn’t always bad news

    Michelle Flynn

    Manager, Commercial Banking
    Calgary Main Branch
    Calgary, AB

    Michelle’s foremost goal is to meet her customer’s banking needs. But, she’s also genuinely interested in their service: “I find it important to stay in contact with my clients. The last thing I want them to think is ‘Oh no, my banker is calling’. Her dedication to communication is what usually enables her to meet her client’s individual needs. “It’s about structuring a deal that is tailored to each individual client. When we provide a solution that they haven’t thought of, but that suits their business perfectly, it catches them off guard. It’s always nice to be able to do that.”

  • 8 It always starts with honesty and respect

    Larry Hewlko

    Manager, Commercial Banking
    Winnipeg Branch
    Winnipeg, MB

    After 40 years in lending, Larry can look you straight in the eye and say not much has changed. Sure, the businesses may be bigger and the deals more complex, but the fundamentals still hold true: “Be honest and respectful. At the end of the day, you can’t grow a healthy relationship with your customer unless you have both.” Larry believes CWB understands customer needs better than most, and he still has a sense of pride in the fact that some of his early customers have gone on to build large, multi-million dollar companies. “It’s pretty gratifying.”

  • 9 It can take months to find a client and seconds to lose one

    Joe Matties

    AVP, Real Estate Lending
    Edmonton Main Branch
    Edmonton, AB

    For Joe, running his client portfolio is like running his own business. That’s why he makes his dedication to his clients clear: “I take personal responsibility for all of my clients and every client has my respect.” After 25 years in the business, Joe still takes a traditional approach to client servicing, even in the face of modern fads: “Despite the presence of increased social media, regular face-to-face communication with clients is what builds and maintains strong working relationships.”

  • 10 Passion is key to a successful business

    Lawrence Robinson

    AVP, Commercial Banking
    Park Place Branch,
    Vancouver, BC

    Only after visiting a customer’s business is Lawrence able to paint the complete picture of a deal. There’s a reason for that: “You can tell a lot about a company by meeting the owner in their environment. I like seeing them excited about their business.” This personal approach to lending connects Lawrence more closely with his customers. “After working with a customer for some time, you really understand what makes them successful and what they truly need.”

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Currents: Western Canada's Economic Bulletin