November 2016 – Banking Firms’ Financial Education Resources

According to a FINRA 2015 Financial Capability Study, many Americans demonstrate low levels of financial literacy, which impedes their ability to apply sensible decision-making skills to real-life situations. This extends to spending and savings habits, choices in financial products and preparedness for emergencies and the future. Not only do traditional banks possess the resources to educate customers and prospects alike on the importance of financial wellness, but they can also reasonably engage customers on a larger scale with private site budgeting and savings tools to manage their accounts, promote products and encourage account holders to expand their relationship with a firm to address their life’s needs.

This report explores the promotion and availability of advice, information and spending tools offered online. Nearly every firm offers some basic advice and calculators for users to approximate how much they should expect to save. Most do so with tie-ins to accounts and services available at branches, and some include content from wealth management, highlighting the customer’s ability to benefit from personal bankers and advisors. Eight firms stand out for offering a comprehensive digital experience, including some gamification and customizable elements, while a handful accompany these with tools on the private site for account holders to manage spending, set savings goals and receive personalized advice.