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Clients are ready for advisors to offer banking services. Are you?

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How quickly is wealth management changing? Consider this: Only two years ago, Wealthfront CEO Andy Rachleff unveiled his firm’s big bet on software. If it unfurled as planned, clients would be able to direct-deposit their paychecks, after which the firm would automatically pay their bills, top off emergency funds and then route money to investing platforms.

At that time, this convergence of banking and financial planning was seen as a major evolution. Given Wealthfront’s advances since then — and competitors’ similar offerings — it’s now table stakes.

Only 2 years ago Wealthfront CEO Andy Rachleff unveiled his firm’s big bet on software. Now it's table stakes.

“Many advisors have downplayed the importance of banking services or have buried their heads in the sand,” says associate editor Sean Allocca. “As financial services firms dive deeper into traditional wealth management, advisors will have to think seriously about adding new tools — especially banking services — to keep up with the industry at large,” Allocca is co-author of our feature, "'Do more for me': Clients demand digital banking options.”

Clients are already asking their advisors for high-yield savings accounts, personal lending, insurance and mortgages. “Expect in a year’s time to see new banking products offered by the biggest wealth companies; Schwab leaders have already publicly stated their plans to do so,” says Suleman Din, the content lead for Financial Planning conferences and the story's other co-author. “The independent that’s not part of the companies building these platforms will certainly have to adapt to stay competitive.”

Firms’ ability to offer a suite of banking services has evolved from idea to actuality in just a few years. Clients are ready. Are you?

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