As banks push their mass-affluent customers to online and self-directed platforms, three are gambling on a different approach to win customers' wealth management business. They're offering customers flesh-and-blood advisors, despite intense price competition from automated advice providers.

The three—U.S. Bank, Bank of the West and Bremer Bank—have introduced new initiatives that assign the mass-affluent not just an advisor but a banker too.  Over the past year, the three have paired up their advisors and bankers and called on them to work together to serve customers with modest investments and saving balances at their respective banks.

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