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Banks Want You to Help Fight Cybercrime

Category: News and Notes- fhuff- 3:03 pm/ July 30, 2010

Cybercrime against banking customers has become so prevalent that banks are asking people to help prevent theft. According to a USA Today article:

The banking industry wants consumers to monitor their online accounts for unauthorized transactions on a “continuous, almost daily, basis,” says Doug Johnson, the [American Banking Association's] vice president of risk-management policy. That’s because PCs and smartphones have become “the online bank branch for a lot of individuals,” he says. “The customer needs to really recognize that security is most effective when they work in partnership with their financial institution.”

Cyberattacks originate from a variety of sources around the world. At the end of 2009, there were 65,098 Trojans, up from 4,295 at the beginning of the year, that were designed to steal from online bank accounts.

The best thing you can do to keep online savings accounts and checking accounts safe is to guard your information and never reveal passwords to other individuals. Don’t be fooled by emails that instruct you to provide personal information such as social security numbers and passwords.

Phishing attempts via email are rampant and you should always ignore them. If you need to contact your bank regarding  a savings, checking, or other account, go to the official website or call the official phone number for customer service.

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Bank2 is offering a savings rate of 2.01% annual percentage yield (APY) and a checking account that earns 4.01% APY. The two accounts work together to help you grow your money.

The savings and checking accounts include the following features:

  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Free online banking
  • Free e-statements
  • Direct deposit available
  • $100 minimum deposit to open account

The savings and checking accounts also are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. There is unlimited check writing privileges and up to $50 of ATM fees are refunded during each statement period. When you open two accounts, the 4.01% interest earned on the checking account is automatically deposited into the savings.

The Great Rate Checking includes the following features:

  • 4.01 APY on balances up to $15,000
  • 1.01% APY on balances over $15,000
  • 0.1% APY if you don’t meet qualifications for the checking account

The Great Rate Savings has a 2.01% APY on balances up to $35,000. If you have more than $35,000, the savings pays 1.01% APY on the portion above that amount. If you don’t meet the qualifications for the savings account, the interest rate is 0.1% APY.

Bank2 is a unit of Chickasaw Banc Holding Company, which is 100% owned by the Chickasaw Nation. The bank is based in Oklahoma City, OK.

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Many banks offer safe deposit boxes for customers, who use them to squirrel away jewelry, savings bonds, stock certificates, insurance policies, coins, and other important documents and keepsakes. You can put whatever you want in a safe deposit box so the sky is the limit.

You keep a key and the bank keeps a key. Both keys are required to open a box. In the event of an emergency, banks can drill open safe deposit boxes. Also, there have been cases where thieves have opened safe deposit boxes to get at the contents.

Whether you want to put your savings bonds, cash, or other valuables in a safe deposit box is up to you. It’s also up to you to insure any contents of a safe deposit box against theft or disaster. Banks have a policy of not asking about safe deposit box contents, so bank employees can’t back up your claims of missing or damaged items.

Stay current on the fee for renting a safe deposit box. If you fall behind, after a certain amount of time, the box gets opened. The contents may be kept for a period of time but once that period has passed, whatever unclaimed items were in the box can end up on the auction block.

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Category: Bank Deals, Checking Accounts, Savings Account Rates- fhuff- 11:22 am/ July 24, 2010

Open an online savings account at HSBC Bank and earn 1.1% annual percentage yield (APY). That compares with the average savings rate of 0.8% APY currently being offered by banks. The savings rate is current as of July 24, 2010. The savings rate is variable and can change at any time.

Details of the savings account include:

  • Open a savings account with as little as $1
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • HSBC checking account is not required
  • Link non-HSBC Bank checking account to savings

HSBC Bank allows you to link as many checking accounts to your savings as you want. Recurring transfers can be set up between accounts. You also can withdraw money from most U.S. ATMs with an ATM or debit card. You can only manage the savings account  online and you have access to 24-hour customer support online or by phone.

HSBC Bank is part of HSBC Group, which is based in London. The financial services company has approximately 8,500 offices in 86 countries. HSBC also has over 475 branches located in the U.S.

Money in a HSBC Bank online savings account is insured by the Federal  Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) up to $250,000 per depositor.

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103 Banks Failed This Year

Category: News and Notes- fhuff- 11:01 am/

Seven more banks were closed by regulators, bringing the total for this year to 103. The bank failures occurred even as many banks reported improved second-quarter earnings. The bank failures are expected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insurance fund $431 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The seven latest banks to fail are:

  • Home Valley Bank, based in Cave Junction, OR. South Valley Bank & Trust of Klamath Falls entered into an agreement with the FDIC to assume all of Home Valley Bank’s deposits.
  • SouthwestUSA Bank, based Las Vegas, NV. Plaza Bank of Irvine, CA will assume all of SoutwestUSA Bank’s deposits.
  • Community Security Bank, based in New Prague, MN.  Roundbank, based in Waseca will assume all of Community Security Bank’s deposits.
  • Thunder Bank, based in Sylvan Grove, KS. The Bennington State Bank, Salina is assuming  Thunder Bank’s deposits.
  • Williamsburg First National Bank, based in Kingstree, SC.
  • Crescent Bank and Trust Co., based in Jasper, GA. First Citizens Bank and Trust Co., Columbia, SC, is assuming Crescent Bank and Trust’s deposits.
  • Sterling Bank, based in Lantana, FL.  IberiaBank of Lafayette, LA, is assuming Sterling Bank’s deposits.

If your FDIC-insured bank is on the list of failed banks, your money should be safe up to $250,000.

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