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FNBO President and the Future Plans with FNBO Direct

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FNBO Direct
BusinessWeek interviewed the president of FNBO regarding FNBO Direct and their plans. Here's the link to a video of the interview.

Although there's a lot of PR with this interview, it does provide a little more evidence that FNBO intends to be player in the online banking market. The president admits that the high rate intro is a strategic move to grab customers. They hope to keep the customers and move them into new products in the future such as credit cards, CDs, mortgages, etc. He also mentioned the importance of good customer service. So it seems likely that they'll keep the rates competitive after the intro. Also in my opinion, you shouldn't expect them to do anything to cause widespread anger with their customers such as making it more difficult to withdraw money as some had worried about after last week's email (see post).

So I thought this would make for another good poll. How high would the rate have to be after the promo for you to keep your money at FNBO Direct? Assume that the rate environment is the same as it is today. If it'll take more than just a high rate, select the last option.

Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

Here's the link to the poll where you can see the results without voting.

For a summary of the FNBO Direct savings account, please see my FNBO Direct account overview or for all of my previous FNBO Direct posts, please see this page.

  Tags: FNBO Direct, savings account

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Comments
12 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is great and I watched the video. Sounds like the rate may stay up after 9/28 or at least the company is looking at various obtions. I'm very pleased to see that FNBO is getting more publicity in magazines, such as Business Week and Money Magazine because there still are a few specktics that say "it sounds to good to be true". Thanks again, Banking guy for the followup.

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Comment #2 by Terry (anonymous) posted on
Terry
Their going to have to beat the AmTrust Direct 5.36% percent to keep me as a customer. I have yet to have problems with FNBO, but AmTrust just moves money faster.

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Comment #3 by virgquest (anonymous) posted on
virgquest
Like Terry, I haven't had any major problems with my FNBO account, but the transfer times are too slow for me to stay there long term. I'm thinking about moving to GMAC when the promotion ends because I've heard that they have very fast ACH transfers and I like the idea of having check writing access to my funds. If FNBO increased the speed of their ACH system so that days of interest weren't lost whenever a transfer is made, then I would be much more interested in staying with them. In the meantime, I'm definitely keeping my Emigrant Direct account. I dislike their 5 business day hold on deposits, but you can't beat their ACH transfer speed!

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Their transfer times are too SLOW. It takes a higher rate of interest than would otherwise be the case to make thier account worthwhile.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks Banking Guy. It's all well and good. But if FNBO want to snag customers, no less retain them, the bank will need to stop doing things to customers other banks just do not do. FNBO has much to learn about on-line banking, and in particular about customer relations. There is a norm in on-line banking customer relations. FNBO needs to discover what that norm is, and then adhere to it. Right now they appear to be "re-inventing the wheel" in this arena - and their new wheel is in the form of a square. I am an FNBO Direct customer and I've done nothing wrong. But I continue to access my e-mail each new day with trepidation, not being able to predict what fresh boogie man the wacky folks at FNBO might have conjured while I slept.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have some money in GMAC and must say their transfer speed is excellent. I see there are comments that Emigrant and AmTrust are also quick. I'm curious to hear your experiences with transfer speeds at other banks.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I agree that the FNBO ach system is too slow. My work around is to mail a check drawn on an interest bearing account (citi, usaa, gmac) on a Tuesday (from Northern VA area), it arrives and is credited to FNBO on Friday. Funds are debited from source bank on Monday/Tuesday. No "lost" interest. Of course, getting the funds out of FNBO is another challenge altogether. Maybe an ACH pull from usaa (they credit your account immediately on pulls). Of course, if FNBO maintains a high rate after promo, funds will stay or move $$ to AFFCU add on CD (6%). Who knows what rates will look like in Sept 07 time frame given the bond market volatility.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I contacted FNBO Direct when I opened an account and asked about setting up a beneficiary or a POA/POD for the account. There answer is that they do not allow this on FNBO Direct accounts. I really cannot understand why this is. Do you have any insight on this matter?

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I will stay with FNBO as long as their rate is competive. I agree with others about joining taking too long and losing some interest in the process, but now that I'm here and gaining the 6% I'm happy. Now trying to withdraw the funds may be another matter. I have a large balance invested and hopefully FNBO with work out the transfer problems by 9/28. Oh yes, another ? for one of the writer's, where is AFFCU that has an add on CD rate of 6%?

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is a portion from an e-mail that I received in response to my concerns about the e-mail that everyone has been discussing.
"Thank you for contacting FNBO Direct regarding your account. Please be advised, the e-mail in which you received is an update to our 'Disclosures' page. This e-mail was sent to all FNBO Direct customers.
This procedure will put into place to protect your account from fraudulent activity. A hold will not be placed on the funds unless there is suspicion of this type of activity.
The daily withdrawal limit for any type of transfer from the account is $100,000.00 per business day."

I plan to wire the fund out because USAA and BoA has too low of a restriction per day. I don't know about GMAC. I'm still concern that the 100K restriction also applies to wire transfer as well. I don't think most banks have this restriction for wire transfer only ACH I thought.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To Anonymous 6/21 Re: Add-on 6% AFFCU = Air Force Fed C/U offered cd 12/06 with add-on feature.

Re: Security Risk Policy at FNBO. A CSR answered my question regarding what specifically would lead FNBO to believe a certain account was at risk. He stated this would relate to wire transfers to/from an unverified external account. Prior to this new policy, apparently you could wire funds in/out using unverified accounts. Normal ACH transfers using verified accounts should not present FNBO with a security risk concern.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Checked with FNBO Direct just now. Re incoming wired funds they require amounts south of $250K, they require it be a domestic wire (from an on-shore USA bank), and they require the FNBO Direct account holder recipient be also the originator of the wired funds (funds must come from a like-titled account at the sending bank - I didn't ask about joint accounts). Once the above items are satisfied, they will accept wired funds for deposit into our FNBO Direct accounts. Third party wires will not fly at FNBO. You cannot wire funds out to a third party, and a third party cannot wire funds in to your FNBO Direct account. I hope this helps.

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