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Digging into the Customer Experience: Brokerage, Online and OffBrokerage is Corporate Insight’s original areas of expertise, dating back to the introduction of Broker Monitor and e-Monitor in the 1990s. Our value-added brokerage and online services research digs deeply to identify and assess specific aspects of the customer experience.
In this e-Monitor Report, we look at the e-Delivery capabilities offered by brokerage firms, a topic we last highlighted in July of 2010. We reviewed how easy it is for users to find document centers and enrollment pages, in addition to how well these sections are organized. We outlined which documents clients can select to receive electronically. We also looked at how far back firms maintain an archive of online documents.
We examine the accessibility of online document centers, focusing on how easy they are to find, and how well organized they are. We reviewed the availability of account documents online, checking which types of documents can be viewed and how far back the online archives span. Finally, we looked at e-Delivery enrollment. We checked if clients can enroll in and suspend e-Delivery online, if they can select e-Delivery for specific documents only, and if they can only choose specific accounts to enroll.
e-Delivery of most account documents is very common among online brokerage firms. Every firm within the e-Monitor coverage group offers monthly account statements and trade confirmations through e-Delivery, including one firm that only offers paperless statements and confirmations. e-Delivery of tax documents is less common, with 73% of firms providing the service. Finally, 84% of firms offer paperless shareholder materials.
The number of firms charging fees to clients for not enrolling in e-Delivery has remained at a standstill since the 2010 report. Five firms continue to charge a fee for mailing paper statements and confirms. Three firms maintained their fee, while one firm changed the balance requirement needed to avoid the fee and another firm raised its paper delivery fees.
The length of online document archives varies among firms, and was a factor in our grading in this report. The average archive length for monthly statements is seven years, with the longest dating back to 1999, and the shortest at only 13 months. Trade confirmation archives average six years in length, with the longest archive available for the life of the account and the shortest only one year. Clients have access to tax documents for six years on average.
Additional Key Findings: