Fulton Financial Corp. in Lancaster, Pa., is preparing to offer a fee-based advisory service for its retail investment customers, the head of its wealth management and trust businesses said.

"This will change the product mix and the kind of interaction we have with clients, to generate more of a fee income stream," said Dave Hanson, the chairman and chief executive of Fulton Financial Advisors.

His unit has not said when it would make the fee-based offerings available, but they would be offered alongside its commission-based offerings.

Fulton Financial Corp., which has 11 banks in five states, is joining a growing trend in which banking companies that have charged sales commissions for investments are offering fee-based advisory services as well. Clients typically pay about 1% of assets under management each year in return for advice, portfolio rebalancing, and other services.

Fulton's brokerage business, which has about $1 billion of assets under management, "has traditionally been more transaction oriented," Hanson said. Part of the reason his company is getting into the fee-based retail advisory service business is a gradual decrease in the referrals that have fueled commission-based lines, he said.

The drying up of brokerage referrals is an industry-wide phenomenon, he said.

"The low-hanging fruit has been picked," Hanson said. "The larger banks that got deeply into the brokerage business earlier on generally went to the fee-based approach earlier. Some of us got into the game a little bit later, so we're just a few years behind in that life cycle."

Fulton partnered with Raymond James Financial Inc. six weeks ago to create a fee-based advisory service. The partnership will allow Fulton to start offering products and services like separate account management, wrapped mutual funds, and financial planning, he said.

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