With consumers nervous about their financial health, banks such as Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank see this need as an opportunity. Wells Fargo is making licensed brokers available to customers to discuss risk, assets and investment strategies. The bank's goal is to reach customers who aren't high-net-worth, but still have a mix of products across a number of institutions: deposits, loans, retirement plans, mutual funds and education financing.

"We want to work on all sides of the balance sheet," said Lincoln Yersin, EVP of Wells Fargo's wealth management group in San Francisco.

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