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Banking & Finance

Bank Offers Workplace Financial Wellness

By Jenny Callison, posted Jul 13, 2018
Karen Bowater (right), senior HR business partner, is responsible for the Momentum onUp program at nCino and helps employees navigate the portal from SunTrust Bank. (Photo courtesy of nCino)
In an interesting twist on its normal business operations, banking software provider nCino has purchased a web-based program from one of its clients – instead of the other way around.
 
The client is SunTrust Bank, and the program is designed to help nCino employees become more confident about their own financial planning.
 
Wilmington-based nCino is implementing Momentum onUp, a program designed to get individuals more knowledgeable about their personal finances and encourage them to set goals and make a plan to achieve them. While the onUp program is available to anyone online, the SunTrust-branded Momentum onUp package is designed for companies to implement with their workforce. It has collective as well as individual components.
 
“When employees have a greater sense of control and ownership over their lives, they feel more motivated, less stressed at work and have better relationships with their employer. This leads to increased productivity and reduces the number of stress-related issues on the job,” said Natalia Moose, a spokeswoman at nCino.
 
She describes Momentum onUp as a “holistic financial wellness program” designed to help employees feel a sense of empowerment over their finances and future.
 
Participants establish goals such as planning for retirement, building emergency funds and saving for a home or college. They learn through a combination of classroom sessions, live streaming, online portals and workbooks.
 
“nCino is doing this for all the right reasons,” said Sandra Spiers, SunTrust Bank’s Wilmington city president. “Having employees who are financially confident makes such a difference in their lives and therefore such a difference in the employee at work. Financial stress is one of the worst types of stress in the U.S. today.”
 
SunTrust found its way to the onUp program after recognizing a problem among its employees, Spiers said. Employee turnover was higher than the company wanted, and employee stress about finances seemed to be a factor.
 
“The bank decided to be a purpose-driven bank, lighting the way to financial well-being,” Spiers continued. “We knew our own employees needed help. Internally, we started the onUp Movement and incentivized our employees to take financial literacy courses.”
 
While onUp can be helpful to people of all ages, it’s especially good for young people just starting their work life, Spiers said.
 
“They come out of college and don’t know about [savings and investment] products,” she said. “People used to have pensions; nowadays, companies don’t have that.”
 
The results from SunTrust’s internal onUp deployment were so encouraging that the bank purchased the onUp company and hired its head. It branded a workforce version of the program, calling it Momentum onUp, and began rolling out the program to its clients at cost.
 
“It helps you retain employees,” Spiers said about the tool. “If [employees] are stressed, this program helps them become less stressed. It makes ‘fiscal fitness’ part of their benefits package.”
 
nCino recently kicked off Momentum onUp, said Jeff Babka, nCino’s CFO. “Folks who have been through it really like it."
 
To make the program even more attractive, nCino matches 10 percent of the amount its employees contribute to their 401k accounts, Babka said.
 
Momentum onUp “hit us at the right time,” he continued, citing the company’s rapid growth – it’s right at 500 employees now, having more than doubled its workforce in less than two years. Participating in the program is a way to assist employees and help them connect with one another – and the company – through a common endeavor.
 
Moose said that while the program is aimed at employees within a company, and there are some group components, participants work their way through the program modules at their own pace and set their own goals.
 
SunTrust is monitoring results from client companies’ experience with Momentum onUP, according to Spiers.
 
Meanwhile, the general public’s participation in the onUp program online is growing.
 
SunTrust’s immediate goal for individual (non company-related) enrollment in the program is 5 million people. Currently just under 3.5 million individuals are using the program, which is at onupmovement. suntrust.com.
 
Even for non-enrollees, the website provides tips, calculators and money-related blogs.
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