In the past, credit unions made efforts to grow their Select Employee Group (SEG) business through a basic offering of share accounts coupled with attractive loan rates. Today, that offering is simply not enough. Employers are now searching for providers that can deliver a full suite of services ranging from the traditional banking & loan products all the way through to retirement planning and workplace financial advice. For credit unions looking to distinguish themselves in the crowded business banking marketplace, incorporating a financial planning program into their SEG offering presents an attractive growth opportunity.
Focus on Financial Wellness
The financial wellness of employees has taken a front seat in the strategic planning of many employers. Financial stress among employees is a growing concern for many organizations. It can lead to decreased productivity, higher absenteeism, and lower job satisfaction. By offering workplace financial planning services, credit unions can help alleviate these issues, demonstrating their commitment to the well-being of SEG members. There are four key areas where credit unions can utilize advisory and wealth management services to significantly enhance their SEG value proposition.
Mt. Zion Federal Credit Union partners with Credit Union Wealth Group to offer wealth management services
Indianapolis, IN — Mt. Zion Federal has partnered with Polaris Financial’s Credit Union Wealth Group (CU Wealth) to offer fiduciary financial planning and investment management services to its members. Mt. Zion FCU provides personalized services to its members who appreciate the close knit community. Mt. Zion members will now have access to a dedicated financial advisory team who may provide financial advice, planning, and investment management services. The full service program provides support for the credit union, including: program management, marketing, compliance, technology and back office support.
All members will have access to a variety of services within financial planning and investment management.
LeWana Britt, CEO & Manager at Mt. Zion Federal Credit Union, on the partnership:
“The mission of the Mount Zion Indianapolis Federal Credit Union is to promote savings amongst our members. We want to provide an array of financial products to meet all of their financial needs both now and for generations to come. We are excited about what Credit Union Wealth Group will bring for both the short term and long term financial planning of our members.”
Credit Union boardrooms often share a common question in regard to the introduction of a wealth management program, namely:
“Do wealth management services pose a cannibalization threat or growth risk to our deposit base?”
Although a valid concern, the evidence fortunately shows that an advisory model wealth management program actually serves as a catalyst for deposit growth.
Growth Through Deeper Relationships & Data Insights
Deepening Member Relationships: Wealth management opens doors to deeper, advisory-based relationships with members. As advisor(s) guide members through their financial plan and investment strategies, their trust in their credit union strengthens, often leading to an increase in deposit balances and use of other banking services.
Deposit Retention through Comprehensive Services: Members are less likely to transfer funds to external institutions if they receive both banking and investment services under one roof. This retention inherently safeguards and potentially increases the deposit base.
Stocks & Bonds Trade Lower as Interest Rates Continue to Rise
Monthly Market Summary
Stocks Decline for a Third Month as Rates Reach Highest Levels Since 2007
The S&P 500 gained more than 20% through the end of July but has since declined 8.3% over the past three months, bringing its year-to-date gain to 10.6%. A significant factor behind the recent equity market sell-off has been the sharp rise in interest rates, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield climbing +1.25% from mid-July through mid-October and rising above 5% for the first time since 2007. This surge in Treasury yields continues to weigh on both stocks and bonds as valuations adjust to a world of higher interest rates. Small-cap stocks underperformed large-cap stocks by over -4.5% in October, and defensive sectors outperformed cyclical sectors. In the credit market, bonds posted another month of negative returns. The following paragraphs discuss why stocks and bonds tend to experience pressure during rising rate periods.
In the ever-evolving world of employee benefits and financial well-being, workplace banking has taken center stage. Employers are increasingly recognizing that workplace banking programs can be more than just a means to streamline payroll and direct deposit; it's about providing a comprehensive toolkit for employees to manage their finances effectively. This includes offering access to financial education, resources, and tools that empower employees to make informed financial decisions.
Credit unions have a golden opportunity to distinguish themselves and cultivate enduring value for their Select Employer Groups (SEGs). By strategically integrating 401(k) plans, comprehensive financial advisory services, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) into their SEG programs, credit unions can adeptly address a wider spectrum of financial needs, resulting in a more competitive SEG offering, heightened member loyalty and market prominence.
A well-structured 401(k) plan is a powerful tool for SEG employees to secure their financial future. It provides a structured platform for them to save and invest for retirement, aligning with their long-term goals. CUs that offer 401(k) plans can set your credit union apart from competitors and make you an attractive choice for SEGs looking for integrated and comprehensive financial services.
Workplace Financial Advice
Employers want workplace banking programs that include access to financial education, resources, and tools to help employees manage their finances more effectively.
$55 Million KUE Federal Credit Union partners with Credit Union Wealth Group to offer wealth management services
Lexington, KY — KUE Federal Credit Union has partnered with Polaris Financial’s Credit Union Wealth Group (CU Wealth) to offer fiduciary financial planning and investment management services to its members. KUE FCU is dedicated to providing a full range of quality, convenient services at competitive prices in order to meet the needs of its over 3,000 current and future members. The expansion of services to include wealth management continues this dedication. KUE FCU members will now have access to a dedicated financial advisory team who may provide financial advice, planning, and investment management services. The full-service program provides support for the credit union, including: program management, marketing, compliance, technology and back office support.
All members will have access to a variety of services within financial planning and investment management.
● On-demand dedicated financial advisors
● Advisor managed investment portfolios
● Financial planning, investment management, & estate planning services
● Digital onboarding and member portal
Stephanie Gillis, CEO & Manager at KUE Federal Credit Union, on the partnership:
“At KUE Federal Credit Union we are always looking for ways to enrich our relationships with our members. As more members have inquired about investment opportunities, we knew it was important to find a partner that valued and respected our members and their needs as much as we do. We believe we have found that with our new partnership with Credit Union Wealth Group. We are excited to offer this new benefit to our members!”
At Polaris Financial, we believe that estate planning is an important part of any comprehensive wealth management program. That's why we are excited to announce that trust and will services are available as part of our bank and credit union programs!
Trusts and wills can be made available to everyone and are a great way to engage your customers or members. This will also generate additional revenue for banks and credit unions as part of their wealth management programs.
With our trust and will services, clients can have peace of mind knowing that their assets will be managed and distributed according to their wishes. Our experienced financial advisors will guide clients through the entire process of creating a personalized plan that reflects each clients’ unique needs and goals. We are dedicated to providing clients with the necessary services and support to make informed decisions about their legacy and the future of their loved ones.
Easily expand your customer and member offerings today. Contact us today to learn more about how your bank or credit union can benefit from our trust & will services and our wealth management programs.
$375 Million MembersFirst Credit Union partners with Credit Union Wealth Group to offer wealth management services
Decatur, GA — MembersFirst Credit Union has partnered with Credit Union Wealth Group (part of Polaris Financial) to offer fiduciary financial planning and investment management services to its members. MembersFirst serves over 30,000 members with more than $375 million in assets throughout the greater Atlanta area. MembersFirst continues their unwavering commitment to members by now providing access to a dedicated financial advisory team who can provide financial advice, investment management, and estate planning services. The turnkey program is full service, providing support for the credit union as well, including program management, marketing, compliance, technology and back office support.
The Credit Union Wealth Management program aligns well with the MembersFirst service pillars of exceeding member expectations, integrity without exception, and teamwork to achieve optimum results. Members are invited to speak with the available advisors to discuss their financial goals and make a plan for success. Members using the services have access to:
Ayoka Stewart, Vice President of Marketing at MembersFirst Credit Union, on the partnership:
“Expanding our credit union offerings with value-added products and services is important to us at MembersFirst. We searched for a long time to find the right Wealth Management and Financial Planning partner for our credit union. Credit Union Wealth Group will meet the unique financial planning needs of our members as they progress through various life stages and fit well with our business model. This partnership will complement our existing Financial Wellness program and allow us to remain competitive as the requirements of our growing and diverse membership continue to evolve.”
Columbus, OH — Telhio Credit Union has partnered with Credit Union Wealth Group (CU Wealth) to offer fiduciary financial planning and investment management services to its members. This new wealth management program, delivered by professional financial advisors, complements the credit union's already wide array of financial products & services.
Members will now have access to a dedicated financial advisory team who can provide financial advice, planning, and investment management services. The full-service program provides support for the credit union as well, including program management, marketing, compliance, technology, and back office support.
Members are invited to speak with the available advisors to discuss their financial goals and make a plan for success. Members using the services have access to:
Chad Maze, Chief Operating Officer of Telhio Credit Union, on the partnership:
“Frictionless services and added value to our members are critical aspects of our decision making when we look to offer new products. Telhio is excited to be able to offer our members a more comprehensive suite of services for every level of financial planning to support self, family, and business needs. As our members look to establish a plan to manage their financial legacies, they now have a trusted partner with whom they consult through Telhio Investment Services.”
Encompass Niagara Federal Credit Union selects Credit Union Wealth Group to offer wealth management services
Niagara Falls, NY — Encompass Niagara Federal Credit Union has partnered with Polaris Financial’s Credit Union Wealth Group (CU Wealth) to offer fiduciary financial planning and investment management services to its members. Encompass Niagara FCU proudly provides quality services at the lowest possible price for its members. Striving to provide their members with the lowest rates for loans and best rates for savings, the credit union will now also be able to offer accessible, professional, dedicated financial advisors to work with the membership. The full-service wealth program provided by CU Wealth includes dedicated financial advisors, program management, marketing, compliance, and back office support. Members may work with their advisor at their own convenience towards a variety of financial goals.
All members will have access to a wide range of services within financial planning and investment management.
Alaina Moeller, Manager at Encompass Niagara Federal Credit Union, on the partnership:
“We care about our members' financial health and well-being. This partnership will make it possible for our members to build a stronger financial portfolio to better their future.”