Why Choose a Bank for Trust and Investment Services Expertise?
In addition to traditional deposit and loan services like checking, savings and mortgages, many people choose to work with their local bank for other services, such as trusts and investments, because they have a history with their bank and believe it to be trustworthy. As you may know, banks operate under strict regulations. State-chartered banks, like ACNB Bank, located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are examined by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. External and internal auditors also examine bank records and processes very carefully, which means there is a tremendous amount of oversight of customer accounts.
Some financial institutions have “trust powers”, but exactly what does that mean? Trust powers are granted to state-chartered banks under state law, which defines activities constituting fiduciary or trust powers. A bank often serves as a fiduciary and works on behalf of another person or entity to manage assets. A fiduciary is a person or organization that owes to another person or entity the duties of good faith and trust. When acting in a fiduciary capacity, a person or organization is required to exercise professional judgement and always perform in the client’s best interest.
The basic duties of a fiduciary may include duty of skill and care, duty to give notices, duty to furnish information and to communicate, duty to account, duty of loyalty, duty to avoid conflict of interest, duty of impartiality, duty to invest, and duty of confidentiality.
Banks are able to offer a full array of services that will last for a person’s lifetime and beyond. Financial planning and wealth management services performed by a financial institution emphasize the importance of helping families and organizations receive all the possible benefits from their financial resources. Retirement planning is a large part of a bank’s trust and investment services role as well.
As you consider your options for this type of expertise, seek out banks that can serve you in many capacities as a corporate fiduciary including acting as agent for investment management, a financial power of attorney, a trustee or co-trustee of a trust created for and during your lifetime or through your will, and an executor or co-executor of your estate.
The many benefits of working with a corporate fiduciary such as a bank include:
• Dedicated staff with expertise in estate and trust administration;
• Sophisticated systems and investment expertise for asset management,
• Continuity of service through a trained, experienced staff versus an individual, and
• Impartial counsel for all parties involved.
Banking institutions with trust powers, like ACNB Bank, often serve in a fiduciary capacity for individuals and organizations in the community and maintain the specialized skills necessary for your confidence in investment management, retirement planning, estate settlement, and trust administration.
Karen B. Arthur is First Vice President/Trust Services Manager in ACNB Bank’s Wealth Management Division.