Bankers can be secretive and difficult to reach. But clearly, they’re not indifferent. When it comes to their attention that an individual is running for office, bankers are quick to make themselves available for meetings and requests for small loans.
A politician’s relationship with a bank can go a long way toward helping or hindering his or her campaign. Here are some ways politicians use banks during their campaigns to help them win votes from the public:
Establish a Reputation
A big worry that people have about politicians is that they’ll squander the public’s money. So if a politician can demonstrate that he or she knows how to handle money responsibly, this is a big plus for their campaign. Politicians who have their own bank accounts can establish their reputations for being financially responsible by showing that they keep their deposits in banks.
A politician who shows that he or she is financially responsible can counter the charge that he or she is “bankrupt” or “hopelessly in debt.”
Pay for Advertising and Promotion
Politicians who are running for office will often want to purchase advertising. They may want to purchase radio or television ads. They may want to put advertisements in newspapers or journals. They may want to purchase billboard space or put ads on websites, ads such as making it easy for people to have high credit scores, which can be a bait for subprime auto leads.
A politician who wants to run for office will go to the bank and ask for a loan to pay for advertising and promotion.
The bank will agree to make the loan provided the person borrowing the money has an established reputation for honesty and financial responsibility. The politician will sign an agreement with the bank in which he promises to repay the loan.
Hire Staff from the Bank
The traditional method of rewarding one’s supporters was through patronage, in which key supporters are rewarded with government jobs. This practice continues to this day – in the 21st century, with a few twists: instead of being employed by the government, the supporter is hired by the politician’s campaign team.
Employees of banks are well-positioned for campaign work, since they already have experience with the highly regulated, precise and demanding nature of working for a financial institution. Plus, banks are located all over the country, so the politician can hire people living near the campaign’s headquarters.