Financial planning is one of the best ways that financial advisors can differentiate themselves in an increasingly commoditized market for financial advice. While firms urge advisors to incorporate planning into their practice, bank-based advisors have been slow to embrace planning. New data suggests that, despite progress in recent years, planning in banks and credit unions has actually regressed.

In 2017, the average number of new plans created per advisor was almost two plans per month, up from 1.5 the previous year. But in 2018 the average number of plans initiated per advisor dipped back below the 2016 level.


Source: Kehrer Bielan annual benchmarking surveys. The 2018-2019 survey included 104 banks and credit unions, of which 84% offer financial planning services.


Firms look to financial planning to help advisors build deeper and more long-lasting client relationships, document the basis for advice and boost revenue by capitalizing on the significant opportunity within advisory and insurance products. However, banks and credit unions appear to still be searching for the keys to unlock the potential of planning. Most planning in their shops is conducted by just a few advisors.

To effectively increase advisor adoption of financial planning, significant support from a brokerdealer who understands the financial advice space and the challenges advisors face in providing planning is required. While change is never easy, leveraging proven processes and programs can help. From coaching, education and training to the digital tools necessary in today’s world to enable a high-quality and compliant advice deliverable, it is imperative to partner with a firm whose strategy and ongoing investments are aligned with financial advice.

To learn more about how the expertise and resources of Ameriprise Financial Institutions Group can help you deepen your long-term client relationships and solidify your position as a full-service financial leader in your market, contact their team today by calling (800) 679-1237 or visit

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