Why Investment Services Are Crucial to Your Members


According to research from Kehrer Bielan, sponsored by CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., only 3% of members utilize their credit unions for investment services.

The same research firm found that 33% of households with at least one credit union member say providing for retirement is their most important financial goal. At a time when many people’s financial planning and retirement goals might be put off, credit unions should be the go-to source to help members plan.

There is enormous opportunity for credit unions to do more to empower their members and help them through the uncertainty they face, as well as to grow their business by making investment services as equally important as their savings, loans, and insurance products.

But making investment services core requires more than just vision. Strategic Link partner, CUNA Mutual Group, outlines four core best practices, that, when combined with careful planning and a data-driven strategy, lead to success:

  1. Increase advisor headcount. Start by focusing on advisor recruiting. Use a junior/associate advisor model where senior advisors mentor those with less experience. This can fill your pipeline with promising, skilled professionals who can grow your advisory business. Nurturing the next generation of advisors is critical.

Best Practice 1: BENCHMARK — To enhance your wealth management program, set a benchmark to deploy at least one advisor for every $150 million in share deposits.

  1. Drive growth of your advisory business. Working with a credit-union-focused broker/dealer also can propel your overall investment services strategy. A qualified BD can help your credit union develop a strategic plan, set company-wide goals that increase the number of members helped with wealth management services, and give you tools and technology to accomplish these goals.

Best Practice 2: BENCHMARK — Ensure at least 50% of new investment assets go into advisory accounts.

  1. Deliver financial planning. Provide centralized financial planning support for advisors, so they can focus less on administrative tasks and more on client acquisition that will generate long-term value. Also invest in data, analytics, and product enhancements to drive program growth. Look at your initial benchmarks and success metrics to assess performance and opportunities for improvement.

Best Practice 3: BENCHMARK — Generate half of your investment services revenue from fees on advisory accounts.

  1. Increase Member Awareness and Drive Referrals. Driving member awareness and referrals is a crucial part of growing your advisory business. Streamline marketing activities across advisors and your credit union’s in-branch and digital marketing activities by working with a strategic partner who can help you:
  • Create a 12-month integrated marketing and executional plan. It can include everything from employee engagement and referral programs to marketing campaigns and social media. This will be your go-to guide for going to market successfully and making investment services core to your business.
  • Leverage advanced analytics to boost program growth. Using your proprietary data and supplementing it with financial behavior data will enable you to capitalize on the benefits of predictive analytics. These powerful insights can help you separate existing members into different customer segments.

Best Practice 4: BENCHMARK — Set a goal to refer at least 1.5% of members to your credit union’s financial advisors every year.

Establishing an investment services relationship for members will deepen their connection to your brand — and their trust in it. As research shows, members who enter into this engagement with their credit union do more business with you in the long term.

To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group, visit its virtual booth at the Strategic Link Trade Show. Visit during live hours on Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PDT (noon to 2 p.m. MDT), to chat directly with the CUNA Mutual Group team. Additionally, during the month of November, you can earn points as you explore the Exhibition Hall for a chance to win a cash prize! A random winner will be chosen Nov. 30, so visit the trade show floor today!

Posted in GoWest Solutions, Industry Insight.