Expanding Consultation and Advisory Services in Banking

From financial wellness to investment advisory services, consumers welcome banking’s consultations

Responding to consumer demand for more value in their banking relationships, financial institutions are expanding their expertise to include a breadth of financial consultation and wellness products, including financial advisory services. In the recent feature on purpose-driven approaches in banking, we described how “products and services that meet people’s needs are driving innovation,” spurring the financial services sector to nurture new markets and new ways of serving. Now, Chase and others are moving beyond traditional transactions and advice to embrace a whole host of financially-focused banking products and services available to consumers.

In addition to its well-publicized commitment to the branch network, Chase is increasing services within those branches with a goal of having “licensed relationship bankers who are allowed to give investment advice to customers present at all of its nearly 5,000 Chase branches,” according to Business Insider. Stevie Baron, head of consumer branch banking at Chase, says the branch will “move toward offering services and advice” with licensed relationship bankers who can complete more client-focused tasks, including moving funds within accounts and advisory consultation for investment accounts.

Global banking leader BBVA also anticipates an expanded role for investment services. BBVA CEO Onur Genç recently said advisory services are an “essential element in our new customer value proposition” stressing that trust and expertise is how “banks improve the value they deliver to clients.” Investing in financial advisory services isn’t just the purview of bigger FIs: Regional institutions and community banks are responding to consumer needs. In fact, an M&T Bank survey finds that “[M]any American consumers need professional guidance as they emerge from COVID-19 financially healthy and look to increase investments in retirement, college education and lifestyle.” 

Whether it’s budgeting, financial wellness or investment advisory services, consumers welcome the experience and expertise of their bankers. Providing financial insights is so valuable to consumers that “69% of customers who receive advice from their banks act on it,” according to J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Retail Banking Advice Satisfaction Study. Paul McAdam, senior director of banking intelligence at J.D. Power, says, “Retail banks fill a critical role in customers’ financial lives and, even though customers may not think to seek financial advice from their bank, they tend to respond extremely well when that advice is proactively offered.”

Stay tuned as Believe in Banking continues to provide news and insights on the industry’s best practices and how banking is putting purpose into practice.