June 2014: Bankerage Services

This Broker Monitor Report reviews the “bankerage” landscape, which is made up of banking products and services that are available to brokerage clients at each of the firms in our coverage group. These banking products and services provide users with access to capabilities normally only offered through deposit accounts. We focused on two key areas for this topic:

  • Cash management features such as check-writing, ATM/debit cards, online bill pay and ACH transfers.
  • Brokerage-branded personal credit cards.

All 19 firms in the
Broker Monitor coverage group offer at least some bankerage-style services. Basic products and features are fairly common, as all firms except one offer check-writing, and 17 out of 19 firms also provide brokerage clients with the option to add a debit card to a brokerage account. Credit cards specifically geared towards brokerage clients are less common, though they are still offered by eight firms. Furthermore, 84% of firms covered in this report provides online bill pay, and 78% offer both one-time and recurring online deposits and withdrawals.

 

Among the firms that offer check-writing, nine firms offer standalone cash management accounts, with seven accounts carrying an annual fee (but include free check writing). One account features a particularly high threshold for check-writing, as it is only available to clients who hold a minimum of $500,000 in assets.

 

Currently, the majority of firms (nearly 90%) offer debit cards that can be linked to brokerage accounts. Only two firms, however, feature cards that offer brokerage account cash back rewards. Conversely, nearly 70% of the credit cards include brokerage account cash back rewards.

 


Additional key findings include:

  • Online bill pay services are offered by 84% of brokerages.
  • Online transfers, both one-time and recurring online deposits and withdrawals, are offered by 78% of firms.
  • The majority of brokerages offer 0% introductory rates and charge $35 late payment fees.