If you’ve heard the phrase about comparing apples and pears, it was one of the more common sayings from my banking days, warning that we were not comparing like with like.

This came back to me in connection with the benefits of competitive exploration, as I sometimes hear the complaint that all banks are the same – with similar approach to loan requests, risk analysis and pricing models.

This was certainly the case in days gone by, especially for the main commercial banks who had a similar footprint of branches, sizeable market shares of customer segments, and remarkably consistent products and services.

However for the lending markets things have changed – significantly. This has been evident in a recent refinancing exercise when we conducted a thorough comparison across various banks.

The offers received were very different which tells me that it really pays to search the market if you are not happy with your bank.

You may get alternative solutions and cheaper pricing – and use an experienced banking advisor for best results.