Financial planning is a very important and very sensitive matter for consumers to tackle. When individuals think about and reflect on their future with respect to financial growth and stability, they are caused to deal with so many “what if” scenarios. What should I do if rates sharply rise? How about if they fall? How can I feel secure about my investment portfolio in an uncertain economy? How does the local economy factor into my decision making – should it? What investment strategy is appropriate given my current life stage and goals? How should I be looking at protecting my assets and ensuring an income stream consistent with my lifestyle choices? WOW – so many important questions to ask that must be answered.
Forward thinking community banks like DNB First (DNBF) are expanding the services they provide to include wealth management, trust services, investment planning and insurance. These services are delivered to bank customers through licensed and professional, experienced advisors who have a deep and core understanding of their client’s needs. These days, wealth services provided by some community banks are delivered with similar platforms that clients may experience when dealing with a major, national banking or financial services giant. The capacity for community banks to offer these services has improved dramatically. This has created an environment where customers of smaller banks can experience services consistent with some of the major players.
The big difference of course, comes down to the relationship that community banks enjoy with their customers. Large banking giants drive “referral” programs where customer information is shared from one part of the operating entity to the other. This creates an environment where the main relationship manager becomes secondary to the wealth or investment professional. Effective community bank models “introduce” or INCLUDE the professionals into an already effective rapport with the bank relationship manager. Like the song says, “You want to go where everybody knows your name.”
The subtle word difference between referral and introduction is actually an important distinction to make. When working with your bank or financial institution, find out if you are being “referred” away to someone else, or if a licensed investment professional is being “introduced” or included in an already effective banking relationship. It makes a huge difference in how you experience your bank!