In this day of lower interest income, investment programs make more sense than ever for banks. But it’s a hard row to hoe. After 30-odd years of selling securities from their branches, many banks still struggle with a culture gap between banking and securities. Many smaller banks haven’t even taken the step of offering investment programs at all.

But change is coming faster than ever for the bank channel. Once banks take the plunge into investments—and assuming they can get past any culture issues—they’re going to find a fast-changing business. Disruptive technologies and social media are changing the landscape in banking and elsewhere. (As someone whose career has been in print journalism, believe me when I say: Don’t ignore this.)

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