Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Why FNBO Direct Hasn't Been Listed at Bankrate?

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FNBO Direct
Several readers have asked about why FNBO Direct isn't listed at Bankrate.com 's list of top savings and money market accounts. FNBO Direct's 6% APY savings account had been listed for awhile, but it has been missing for several weeks. I emailed Bankrate and received the following response:
FNBO is a paying advertiser who voluntarily submits rates to us to post to the site. It appears that they have simply not provided rates to post in the past few weeks, hence you are seeing them lower on the table and perhaps they have dropped off. This happens because their rate information has expired. Please check back with the site, as they will appear back on the site once they have updated their rates.

One interesting thing to note relates to Bankrate. It appears they only post what banks send to them. This would explain why they often leave out rates from many banks and credit unions. I've read that they only charge banks when they include links and/or comments in the table entry. So ad costs shouldn't be a factor for them not listing a bank.

Perhaps FNBO Direct is not providing the rates to Bankrate because the demand for the savings account may be high enough. If FNBO Direct is spending time doing a bunch of manual checks (like verifying ownership of external accounts of many of its customers and checking employment history of many of its retired customers), FNBO Direct may be having trouble handling all the new customers.

The poll results in my last week's post indicate 15 readers have been asked by FNBO to provide info to validate ownership of external accounts. All but one reported to have the same account title on the external account. There were a total of 104 responses. So about 14% of those who responded had this problem. If this is typical, FNBO must be spending quite a bit of time on this, and unfortunately, many customers are having to spend time also.

For a summary of the FNBO Direct savings account and the 6% promotion, 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
5 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I stopped reading Bankrate a long time ago, finding their information unreliable. My first stop these days is ... Banking Guy.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Agree with first comment! But I was wondering about all the flack we read about concerning problems when we try to withdraw funds. I don't plan to withdraw before 9/28 unless there is a necessity. Banking Guy, give us your take on withdrawing funds.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bankrate has been useless for the last 4 years or so. They seem to only post a small fraction of the deals out there -- perhaps people that pay them. I rely on Fatwallet and Banking guy instead..

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Why bothering with Bankrate when we have Banking Guy's website?

Thank you for everything you've done for us Banking Guy. Very good job and very much appreciated!

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Banking Guy,

As someone in the know, I thought I'd clear a few things up about Bankrate:

Banks and CU's that meet certain asset size requirements (or other requirements which aren't entirely clear to the industry) don't need to be pay to be listed. Bankrate does that for them. Typically these are institutions that you see listed without hyper links. If an institution does not fall into this bucket, then they must pay to advertise in the various tables in what is a cost-per-click model.

Also, Bankrate has limitations as to what products can be listed - they want to be able to focus on apple-to-apple comparison. For example, a high-rate money market account that requires the consumer to open the checking account cannot be listed because of the checking account requirement.

Further, Bankrate sets the market rate for the costs for each of the tables, and if an institution is a paying advertiser they fund their account, and are responsible for keeping their rates updated. Once their funds are gone, they either are removed from the table(s) or pay more to stay listed.

While their original business model was to survey institutions and post rates for consumers to do research on an un-biased basis, they have since become an advertising medium for institutions that want to compete on rate.

Hope that helps.

1