With the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) in 1999, many Financial Services Institutions (FSIs) acquired, merged, and consolidated, allowing them to offer a wide spectrum of products and services to meet the needs of their customers. Although it’s been well over a decade since the wave of consolidation began, true integration of bank and brokerage services is still a challenge.
Customers want access, control, and help simplifying the complexities of their financial lives as a whole. They want a panoramic view that includes their everyday banking accounts, loans, short-term and long-term investments, and the ability to easily move money from one account to another – all with a single-sign-on. Customers see value in providers that help them achieve success – as defined by the customer.
While GLB removed the legal barriers allowing companies to integrate, a greater modernization act by the companies themselves is required to remove internal barriers that prevent an ideal customer experience. So, how can FSIs solve this complex challenge and capitalize on the significant opportunities with consumers?
- Understand your customers – Understanding customer behavior patterns, relationships between customers, and how much each specific customer is worth to the bottom line will help direct your next advertising dollar.
- Embrace compliance and regulatory requirements – Budget and plan for compliance and regulatory requirements as part of your integration strategy.
- Develop compelling product offerings – Appeal to your audience, segment appropriately, and create offers that meet short-term and long-term needs.
- Grow your business organically – A firm’s current clients can be the key to cost-effective growth.
- Not the Golden Rule – the Platinum Rule – Treat your customers how they want to be treated, not how you think they should be treated. Offer service to your customers how, when, and where they want to be engaged.
The key to an integrated business is to develop a service model that breaks down internal silos allowing your consumers to see your full range of capabilities. Once you decide to be a player in bank-brokerage integration, you must assess your firm’s current customer, business, and technological structure; identify opportunities for integration; and socialize your plans to get key company players on the same page.
Stay tuned as we explore some of the steps listed above in future posts …