Market Measures

Banks Should Not Ignore The Mass Market

Cerulli recommends banks elevate their approach to servicing this demographic

December 12, 2023, BOSTON—Despite comprising nearly two-thirds of all U.S. households, the mass market represents banks’ least frequently targeted demographic. According to the latest Cerulli Edge—U.S. Asset and Wealth Management Edition, just 16% of firms offer an investment or wealth-related service tailored specifically to these households with less than $100,000 in investable assets.

While the mass market demographic may not be considered a ‘core client,’ it is still a notable source of customers for banks, leveraging traditional banking offerings such as savings, checking, lending, and credit services. Such offerings typically include a self-directed brokerage platform with perks such as zero-commission trades and access to educational content. The service delivery model of providers in this space is becoming highly digitized and automated with minimal access to human advice providers, and often centers around an online dashboard.

The services offered on these platforms usually are adequate for those who have less than a few hundred thousand dollars in assets and are in an accumulation phase of their financial journey. However, as their wealth accumulates and their needs become more complex, they often require more services from banking providers. Cerulli believes that banks willing to secure relationships during the early phase of a client’s financial life may be well positioned for future upward internal referrals should the client see a change in their financial situation.

Banks that create a differentiated, engaging client experience will be well positioned to retain clients as they cross into higher wealth tiers...

“There is an opportunity for banks to create lasting relationships with mass market clients in the accumulation phase,” says Matt Zampariolo, analyst. “Banks that create a differentiated, engaging client experience will be well positioned to retain clients as they cross into higher wealth tiers.”

Exploring Multiple Wealth Segments

As banks look ahead to their sources of organic growth, Cerulli recommends that banks evaluate their ability to onboard clients across a variety of wealth tiers in order to enhance service efficiencies and position themselves for increased client retention amidst shifting wealth demographics.

“By defining multiple wealth segments as core clients, banks are better able to align their capabilities and offerings with the needs of a specific client type. These differentiated service models will provide their clients with an elevated, precise experience that bodes well for future wealth management relationships,” says Zampariolo. “Banks will, at the same time, avoid overserving or underserving clients, enhancing productivity and profitability gains,” he concludes.




About Cerulli Associates
For over 30 years, Cerulli has provided global asset and wealth management firms with unmatched, actionable insights.
Headquartered in Boston, Cerulli Associates is an international research and consulting firm that provides financial institutions with guidance in strategic positioning and new business development. Our analysts blend industry knowledge, original research, and data analysis to bring perspective to current market conditions and forecasts for future developments.