The old battle begins again. After years of enjoying flush deposits, many institutions see erosion in their funding base. Now is when you must start adding new tools and techniques to your bag of tricks to stop the leaks — and even siphon funds from your competition.
Bank deposits have been declining, dropping 2.9% in the second quarter of 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. This decline happened while the economy notched a sizzling 4.2% advance in GDP, fueled by strong consumer spending and continued business investment.
While the catalyst for deposit runoff is tied to the robust economy, the deposit problem isn’t universal among all financial institutions. Megabanks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo say they are successfully able to recapture outgoing deposits with in-house managed accounts. But smaller community banks that generally lack wealth management capabilities can’t benefit from such disintermediation.
So where are community banks’ deposits going? It’s likely that they’ve been absorbed by external investment providers, retailers, and business expenditures. Some may be going to credit unions, too. These institutions saw a 5.4% increase in deposits through the end of the second quarter, according to National Credit Union Administration reports.
If the economy continues to hum along, deposits may shrink even further. With increased competition, everyone — banks and credit unions alike — that rely on deposit funding needs fresh strategies to win new depositors and new deposits. Here are six ideas:
1. Start Fishing in the Right Pond
Your deposit strategy should rely on “fishing where the fish are,” so get to know which ponds will yield the biggest catch. You already have some of this intelligence.
Gather data and perform analytics on your existing deposit holders to determine their demographics, preferences, and profitability. Design profiles of who is already attracted to your institution, and for what reasons. Determine if those depositors are hyper-sensitive to interest rates.
This analysis will not only enable you to make adjustments to your marketing efforts, but you’ll also recognize which deposit offerings to vigorously promote.
2. Don’t Just Promote —Tell a Compelling Story
Every institution has something distinctive about it that can differentiate its brand from extensive competition. Such factors can include a unique delivery platform, a specialized array of customer offerings, or perhaps some geographic advantage.
Refine and step up your brand messaging in a way that sets your institution apart. Maybe your differentiator is simply that you are local, which allows you to better understand your community and to build your hometown economy.
Remember, consumers shop at specific retail stores because they relate to those stores’ merchandise, pricing, terms, and values — as well as the perceived value.
The most successful retail brands tell a story to hook their customers. Your institution must do the same to appeal to consumers you want to bring into the fold.
Keep reading on The Financial Brand.