Scottrade’s Bank Forged a Non-Banking Customer Experience Through a CEO-CIO Partnership

The goal was online banking at brokerage speed with seamless integration of platforms

Scottrade CIO Ian Patterson and Scottrade Bank President Joe Pope discuss relationship banking.

Ian Patterson Scottrade was started in 1980 as a discount brokerage, and since then it has evolved into a financial services firm providing a variety of products helping millions of people manage their own trades and investments. We employ more than 3,600 associates in over 500 offices. As part of this evolution, in 2010 we began offering retail banking services to our brokerage customers.

Joe Pope Banking done correctly provides a tremendous amount of stability. We have no control over how frequently our customers trade in good or bad markets. That creates earnings volatility. Banking is a more predictable earnings stream, and it levels things out for us. In just three years, we’ve become one of the country’s top 100 banks in total assets. We achieved that with only 15 full-time bank employees because we leverage the people, processes and IT of Scottrade. Ian was extremely hands-on from the very beginning, and really focused on the customer experience.

Patterson Online brokerage clients have an expectation of speed and performance that typically online banking clients don’t have. We wanted to give the same type of speed and performance in banking that we have in brokerage and to make it seamless. You only have to log on once to use both services, even though they are on separate platforms. You see them as simply moving between pages.

Pope That was a huge technological hurdle to overcome. Another was funds transfer capability—we had one system that wanted to account for transfers on a batch basis and another system that wanted to account for them in real time.

Patterson There were regulatory and audit issues as well. The team looked at all the ramifications from a business perspective, determined what it would take to make it work technically, and came up with a great marriage.

Pope If we didn’t have a true peer-to-peer relationship, I don’t believe we could have built the customer experience that we have. By contrast, we have a third party that provides the basic banking platform, and that is very much a service provider relationship. Thanks to our relationship, we were able to create that customer experience in spite of that provider.

Patterson The difference is that we don’t look at IT as a cost center at Scottrade, we look at it as a value provider. It’s hard to be successful when you’re only driven by what costs you are taking out of the organization day-to-day. You have to be looked at as a peer and partner with the organization, dedicated to making it all work.

As told to CIO Executive Council VP Rick Pastore. View a video ­interview with Scot­­trade’s CIO and Scottrade Bank’s President at


This story, "Scottrade’s Bank Forged a Non-Banking Customer Experience Through a CEO-CIO Partnership" was originally published by CIO Executive Council.


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