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FDIC Expects More Bank Failures

Category: News and Notes- fhuff- 12:14 pm/ February 27, 2010

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) expects a lot more banks to fail, costing the agency billions of dollars. Earlier this week the agency said it had 702 banks on its ”problem list” at the end of December, up from 552 at the end of September.

All of those banks aren’t necessarily going to fail, but bank failures are expected to reach a high point this year. Total assets of the troubled banks rose during the quarter to $402.8 billion from $345.9 billion. The FDIC did not release the names of the 702 troubled banks.

The agency says it has cash and marketable securities that total $66 billion. The FDIC required most insured banks to prepay about three years worth of deposit insurance premiums at the end of 2009 to help provide funds needed to handle bank failures this year and into the future. Those prepayments totaled $46 million.

Last year 140 banks failed, the highest number since 1992. You can search for failed banks here.

The FDIC is an independent federal agency that was created in 1933. When banks have failed, the agency has helped insured depositors recover their funds promptly. You can find out if your accounts are fully insured by the FDIC in case of a bank failure.

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ING Direct

Category: Bank Deals, Savings Account Rates- fhuff- 11:23 am/

Do you run a small business and want to boost your savings? Open an ING Direct business savings account and receive a $50 bonus. Details of the savings offer include:

  • Savings rate of 1% annual percentage yield (APY)
  • No fees
  • No minimums
  • No service charges
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000

You must open a business savings account by March 15, 2020 and use the reference code BSA326 to receive the bonus. The cash bonus is deposited into the account when it is opened and can be withdrawn after 30 days.

The 1% savings rate is effective as of Feb. 24, 2010, but is a variable rate that can change at anytime. Interest on your savings accrues daily, is compounded monthly, and credited to your balance each month.

The savings account is available to many kinds of businesses, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and not-for-profit organizations. You can set up the account for you and two other people to have access with separate logins and customer numbers.

You don’t have to change banks to open a business savings account at ING Direct. You are required to link a business checking account from another bank with your ING Direct savings.

ING Direct offers 24-hour banking online and has customer service representatives available to speak to you from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  every day of the week.

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Citibank

Category: Bank Deals, Checking Accounts- fhuff- 11:02 am/

Open a Citibank checking account by March 31, 2010 and receive a $100 bonus. You must be a new Citibank checking account customer and make a minimum deposit of $1,000.

Within the first month of opening a regular checking account you must begin making at least one direct deposit, two electronic bill payments, or five non-PIN debit card transactions each month for three consecutive months.

Eligible purchases must be made through the MasterCard Network and include those you sign for or small dollar purchases that do not require a signature. Purchases made made through other payment processing networks do not qualify.

Other details of the bank deal include:

  • Free ATM access at over 26,000 Citibank ATMs in the U.S., including machines at 7-Eleven stores
  • Free online bill pay
  • Free mobile banking
  • Free identity theft solutions

Existing Citi credit card customers received this offer, which requires a code of C2CA to open an account and qualify for the deal. You can apply online or by phone, but check to make sure you qualify for the $100 bonus. The bonus is deposited into your account within 120 days from the end of the statement period that you meet all the requirements.

This offer is only available to people 18 and older, and is limited to one per customer.

Thanks MyBankTracker!

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Credit Card Laws Take Effect Next Week

Category: Credit Cards, News and Notes- fhuff- 10:26 am/ February 19, 2010

Sweeping changes in credit card legislation take effect next week (Feb. 22). Here’s a quick rundown of some of the changes you can expect:

  • Banks can’t raise interest rates on existing credit card balances unless a promotional rate ends, you’ve been late with a payment, or the card has a variable rate.
  • Interest on new balances can only be increased after 12 months if the promotional rate ends or payments are 60 days late.
  • You must have the right to “opt out” of major changes to your credit card terms. Opting out closes the account but you have five years to repay your debt at the current interest rate and terms.
  • Banks can only sign up people under 21 for credit cards if they have an adult co-signer or can prove they have enough income to pay bills.
  • You must receive your statement at least 21 days before payment is due.
  • Credit card statements must clearly show the date and time your payment is due. The time must be no earlier than 5 p.m. on the due date.
  • Statements must explain how long it would take to pay off your balance by making only the minimum payments.

Pay close attention to the fine print in credit card offers to become familiar with the terms and conditions. Also read your statements on existing accounts carefully to understand any changes; think twice before signing up for credit card offers, such as cash advances, related to existing accounts.

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If you don’t want to tie up your savings for too long but want to earn some money, Country Bank for Savings has a six-month Relationship certificate of deposit (CD) with a 1.85% annual percentage yield (APY). Relationship CDs are also available for terms of 15 months (2.25% APY) and 24 months (2.5%  APY).

Relationship CDs are only available to customers who live in Massachusetts and have a checking account at the bank. Other details of the offer include:

  • Minimum deposit of $500 to open CD
  • Minimum balance of $1,000 in a Country Bank checking account
  • Must set up monthly direct deposit into checking account
  • Penalty for early withdrawal
  • Interest is paid monthly and can be withdrawn at any time

Other CD rates and terms are available to people who don’t live in Massachusetts and accounts must be opened by mail. Call the bank for more information on opening an account if you don’t live in Massachusetts. Other CD rates as of Feb. 19, 2010, include:

  • 6 months (1.6% APY)
  • 12 months (1.75% APY)
  • 15 months (2% APY)
  • 2 years (2.25% APY)
  • 3 years (2.25% APY)
  • 4 years (2.5% APY)
  • 5 years (2.5% APY)

The bank, which is based in Ware, MA also offers CD rates for terms as short as two months. CD rates are available for fixed-rate and variable CDs.

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