New Research Proves the Importance of Bank Wealth Management Divisions in a Post-COVID Environment

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

The Bank Insurance & Securities Association (BISA) released a new research report – Growth Beyond the Branch: The Future of Bank Investment Sales - that takes a deep dive into how bank-affiliated broker dealers expect to grow in a world less dependent on brick-and-mortar branches. The report is based on qualitative interviews with 24 bank broker-dealer executives and 4 bank executives with oversight of the branch channel.

The study explores the current state of traditional financial advisor branch coverage; the evolution of virtual and call center channels and the impact on advisory businesses within banks; performance and profitability differences by sales channels; and top investment priorities for broker-dealers to continue to drive growth.

"Over the last 18 months we have experienced a dramatic shift in how we interact with clients and prospects. Bank affiliated wealth management firms had to pivot quickly in 2020 out of necessity and accelerated changes that may have taken years to achieve," states Michael Miroballi, CFA, President of The Huntington Investment Company, and Chair of the BISA Research Committee. "This study provides valuable insights on how these changes affect our business and the role of branch banking and digital presence in helping grow in the future."

Sample key takeaways from the report include:

  • Bank wealth management divisions and their BD affiliates are more important today to banks' strategic objectives of diversifying revenue sources and growing client share of wallet, especially among mass-affluent clients.

  • As more banking activity takes place online and branch networks shrink, the role of the branch is changing from a place that handles transactions to one where customers want to address more complex financial needs.

  • Bank BDs play a critical role in helping banks create differentiated service for affluent clients, in part through branch-based FAs. But BDs will also need to enhance their digital and virtual service capabilities to compete with digital incumbents and challengers if they are to attract the investment assets of Gen Xers and millennials.

To learn more about becoming a member of BISA and obtaining this report, contact