Why the Findings of the Annual Industry Checkup Are Downright Frightening

The financial institution investment services and insurance community enjoyed its best year in recent memory in 2021, as the nation shook off many of the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. Investment services revenue increased 17% in banks and credit unions, the largest year-over-year increase ever recorded in the Annual Industry Checkup. Average financial advisor productivity improved 16% in financial institutions in 2021 after remaining flat the previous two years.

With all that good news still hanging in the air, the mood among the participants at a recent meeting of the Kehrer Bielan Leadership Study Group was joyous—until we put this chart up on the screen.

“That’s the scary one,” offered one broker dealer CEO. What makes this chart frightening? Because it demonstrates that the financial institution investment and insurance community has relied almost entirely on improvements to advisor productivity aided by strong market appreciation to drive growth in recent years, while advisor headcount has more-or-less stalled. Over the same period, financial institution deposits have grown significantly, surging 14% in banks that offer investment services in 2021 alone. That means that the typical financial institution, which already had too few advisors to cover the opportunity for investment services among its customers, is now much deeper in the hole than it was several years ago.

All of which means slower growth, a concern for that CEO and many others whose feet are being held to the fire to recreate the kind of growth they experienced in 2021.

The 2021/2022 Annual Industry Checkup is sponsored by CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc and Terrapin Technologies.

Cuna Mutual Group has a unique set of capabilities to help both financial institutions and advisors grow their businesses at levels well above the averages for the bank and credit union industry. We call this process the “Blueprint for Success“ and its focus is helping institutions and advisors build and execute on a co-created strategic plan that applies proprietary data and analytics along the along with skill and knowledge our deeply experienced consultants. We would welcome the opportunity to tell you more.


Terrapin Technologies provides financial data and reporting solutions for broker-dealers and RIAs. Terrapin’s platform automates and improves business processes across your entire firm, including compensation, compliance, and reporting. Having worked with financial institutions for over 25 years, Terrapin knows how vital your advisor workforce is to the overall success of your investment program. Terrapin’s compensation management solution gives advisors visibility into their production with dashboards and trade blotters using real-time metrics. Its all-in-one solution empowers firms to pay advisors accurately and on time. Attract and retain top talent with Terrapin Technologies. To learn more, visit www.terrapintech.com