The Wall Street Journal has published a series of articles in recent days about how some life insurers have failed to pay out death benefits in a timely fashion of late. Yesterday's article, "Life Insurers Skimp on Payouts: States," contains the seemingly damning assertion that life insurance business units have failed to pay out death benefits for insureds where annuity business units have ceased making annuity payments for the same person. This does sound bad.
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Aite Group’s wealth management research team recently surveyed 450 financial advisors across wealth management channels (wirehouse, independent broker/dealer, bank & insurance broker/dealer, RIA, regional brokerage firms). The survey population included a sample of more than 30 non-wirehouse bank financial advisors and more than 40 wirehouse financial advisors that work for either Bank of America or Wells Fargo. We asked a series of questions on internal partner referrals, including the following:
- What share of revenue derives from internal partner referrals?
- To which internal organizations are advisors incented to refer business?
Big banks tend to have marketing staff and spokespeople -- people committed to presenting their bank in the best possible light and helping their senior executives manage their media interactions. Lately, these communication experts have either been on a simultaneous vacation or possessed by cranky, arrogant (and sometimes clueless) aliens. According to companies that survey consumers annually, U.S. banks are now routinely viewed as profit-driven, and not customer-driven. Is it any wonder that brand loyalty is declining?
Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve issued a request for comment on “whether the repeal of Regulation Q is expected to have implications for balance sheets and income of depository institutions, short-term funding markets such as overnight federal funds market, the demand for interest-bearing demand deposits, and competitive burden on smaller depository institutions.” U.S. banks are planning for the demise of Regulation Q, considering the choices that small-business, middle-market, and corporate customers will embrace, and determining how their treasury business will respond.
This follow-up to last month’s post will discuss how the experience of B2B solution providers is relevant to financial institutions involved in developing global transaction services (GTS) on platforms. The examples come from Ariba, whose vision has enabled companies to facilitate and improve B2B procurement processes via the Internet.