8 questions for prospective investment program partners

Financial planning services can deepen member relationships.

November 22, 2021

Credit unions are known for genuinely caring about their members’ financial peace of mind. And yet, sometimes they miss opportunities to better serve them.

Take financial planning, for example. The Pew Research Center reports that more than half of U.S. households have some skin in the stock market.

So, if your credit union does not offer investment services, you’re leaving money on the table.

Retaining members

The data indicate that many of your members are seeking financial advice and making investments elsewhere. That means lost opportunities to generate greater profits and make your members “stickier,” since research shows that consumers who have purchased an investment at their primary financial institution are 28% more likely to stay put and recommend their credit union than households without an investment relationship.

Expert wealth management services help everyone achieve greater financial success. Members who use them to build nest eggs enjoy greater peace of mind and find institutions that offer them more relevant to their financial lives. And, credit unions create an additional revenue stream and more loyal members.

Staying competitive

Offering investment opportunities also helps credit unions compete with bigger banks (and their matching marketing budgets), something underdog financial institutions must do every day to survive.

Investment programs, however, are complicated. Cost, compliance, technology, staffing, and expertise are barriers to entry for most credit unions.

Wealth management programs can be overwhelming to establish and manage alone, despite the clear added value for credit union members. Instead of forgoing an investment program and all the benefits that come with it, find a partner that can facilitate one for you.

Partnering wisely

Before you engage a third party, ask them these questions:

  1. Can you tie your investment platform into our online banking system with single sign-on for a seamless, white-label member experience?
  2. Who manages your relationship?
  3. Are you owned by a credit union/CUSO, and, if not, do you regularly work with credit unions and understand their members-first philosophy?
  4. Can you work with our leadership to customize our program and provide options for all our members, whether they have a few hundred dollars or thousands to invest?
  5. Do you have a compliance record?
  6. Do you have a digital account opening platform available to our members through online banking?
  7. Do you provide plug-and-play back-office solutions, including full clearing and custodial, streamlined regulatory compliance, and trust services?
  8. What is the onboarding process? Are you fully digital? 

Read more about these questions

Don’t let members take their investment dollars elsewhere. A credit union-owned broker-dealer like Copper Financial can help you capture that portion of their business to everyone’s benefit. Let’s connect

JUSTIN STEITZ is chief operating officer at Copper Financial.

Securities and advisory services offered through Copper Financial Network, LLC (“CuFi”), Member FINRA/SIPC. CuFi is a SEC registered investment adviser. Products offered through CuFi: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal. CuFi is wholly owned by CommunityAmerica Credit Union.