Kehrer Bielan Study Answers Yes

As Kehrer Bielan consults with banks and credit unions on improving the business performance of their investment services, one of the most frequently asked question is, “Do any financial institutions charge for planning?”  Our recent survey of planning activity in 87 financial institutions provides some answers:

  • Two-thirds never charge for plans, considering it part of an advisor’s value-added for the client.
  • 17% have a planning fee schedule, but waive the fee if a client invests through the firm, which means they rarely charge the fee.
  • 11% leave the decision to the financial advisor, but most bank-based financial advisors appear to be reluctant to ask for a fee.
  • Only 5% charge a fee for every plan.


Some firms worry clients will be turned off if asked to pay for a financial plan and that their financial advisors will be uncomfortable explaining fee structures. However, our survey data suggest that these concerns are unfounded. In fact, firms that charge for the financial plan at least some of the time engage more new households in financial planning relative to their opportunity, as compared to firms that never charge for the plan.

Firms that charge for planning generated plans for 0.66% of the institution’s customers each year.  That is six times the new plan customer penetration rate achieved by firms that do not ask their customers to pay for planning.  Similarly, firms with fees for planning created new plans for 7.25% of their investment clients each year, a much higher client planning penetration rate than the 2.45% for firms that provide planning for free.


The study describes the types of fee structures that firms are deploying, the efficacy of alternative planning delivery models, setting planning goals for financial advisors or incenting them for planning, and the value of managing the planning enterprise.


These are among the findings of The Status of Financial Planning in Financial Institutions published in November.  Click here to  download a complimentary copy of the study.


With more than 25 years* serving the investment program needs of local banks and credit unions, Ameriprise Financial Institutions Group brings a depth of understanding, experience and knowledge to the financial institution space — helping deliver value for clients and members while driving revenue for the affiliated institution.


For more information, visit or call us at 800.679.1237.


*Investment Professionals, Inc (IPI) was founded in 1992 and specialized in the on-site delivery of investment programs for financial

institutions. Ameriprise Financial, Inc. acquired IPI in 2017 bringing together the years of experience of the two organizations.

The Status of Financial Planning in Financial Institutions study was fielded in the summer of 2019. Kehrer Bielan surveyed 87 banks and credit unions that offer financial planning services. These institutions included 74 financial institutions that work with third-party BDs (TPBDs) and13 bank-owned broker dealers. Collectively, the 87 institutions deploy 2,927 advisors.

The institutions reported the number of new households engaged in planning, along with other detailed information about the firm’s financial planning practice.

Ameriprise Financial Planning Service is generally appropriate for clients and prospects with financial goals and sufficient financial assets and income to address those goals. These clients must also have a willingness to pay an investment advisory fee for advice in helping them achieve those goals.

Ameriprise Financial and Kehrer Bielan are not affiliated.

Investment products are not federally or FDIC-insured, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

Securities offered by Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC.