Wealth Managers: Using the Web to Win New Clients
Top Five Website Functions of Private Banks
Jun. 03, 2010
The future of private banking and wealth management is increasingly tied to the Internet. Today’s new generation of clients uses the website of a wealth manager or private banker as the primary information source at the start of any potential business relationship. New social networks are employed by clients to gather information and opinions about their wealth manager or private banker. These are radically new demands for the vast majority of wealth managers and private bankers. As our recent report shows, most of them are not prepared for change yet, although we have also found some excellent examples of wealth managers and private bankers harnessing the Internet to support their clients.
In the course of analyzing 20 private banking websites we came across various functions, instruments and contents that we consider to be particularly innovative and worthy of attention. Moreover, most of these best practices can be integrated with ease into a private banking website. Our top five are listed below.
5) The perfect search function (Credit Suisse)
The search function on the Credit Suisse private banking site not only delivers the desired results, but demonstrates its class with its well structured search function. In the advanced search facility, the user has several options for refining his query. He/she can choose any one of five languages, as well as the document formats and text sections. The search results are then presented in a very well-organized and user-friendly manner. The ‘headline’ results are sorted by relevance, displayed with date and with the search words highlighted. Links to complementary websites with further relevant material are recommended for search requests with a wider scope.
4) Simulating client benefits online (Citibank)
Citibank not only claims its desire to benefit and inform its customers, but also gives potentially interested persons a hands-on experience of how this is done on its private banking website. Citibank not only provides visitors with a detailed description of all the content in the "online client section" and how the clients can customize this individually, but all functions are also presented in a virtual tour. Interested users can see in detail what would happen after a "Customer log-in": starting with a representation of the log-in process, the account summary and the research section up to the stage of creating preferences. Citibank provides potential new clients with a convincing demonstration of what the private banking website has to offer them once they sign up. Not just the usual words, but virtual actions.
3) Contact persons with biographies for every service (Pictet)
Pictet shows how private banking can be “personalized” even when the medium is the Internet. In the contact section, contact names are listed for every private banking office, and for each of the services offered there. If the user clicks on the name, a contact form with the photograph and brief biography of the wealth manager appears. Exemplary personalization when it comes to contact details.
2) Interactive tools (UBS)
UBS uses the opportunity provided by the Internet as an interactive medium and offers a number of online tools to visitors to the private banking website. Here they can obtain personalized information and make calculations for various personal financial scenarios. The visitor can, for instance, calculate the tax burden that may be expected depending on the place of residence or investment vehicle. He might want to find out whether it would be more profitable for him to buy property instead of renting it or how he can optimize his work related expenses and provisions for old age. This is customized "hard data" for the private banking website user which make it easier for him to analyze his financial situation. This is what interactivity that benefits the visitor of a private banking website should look like.
1) “How We Are compensated” (Morgan Stanley)
Morgan Stanley tackles one of the most critical questions in wealth management: right on the entry page for visitors is a link which can be followed to see what kind of incentives and remuneration models are used for wealth managers and private bankers. Here clients and potential clients can find out the extent of commission paid to wealth managers and private bankers for selling certain classes of investments, and about the kickback model. Morgan Stanley discloses sensitive compensation data no other bank has dared to publish. And the bank earns respect in return.
The complete report is available here.
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