Update 3/8/08: The rates have fallen. The 48 and 60 month CD rates have fallen from 4.25% to 4.00% APY, the 6-month liquid CD rate has fallen from 3.90% APY to 3.60% APY, the savings account rate has fallen from 4.05% to 3.95% APY, and the money market rate has fallen from 4.00% to 3.90% APY. The title has been modified to reflect this change.
Independence Bank is listing some competitive certificate of deposit rates. The highest yield is 4.25% APY for 48 and 60 month terms. Other terms are also competitive with yields near 4%. They have a 6-month liquid with a 3.90% APY that allows unlimited deposits and 1 penalty free withdrawal a month. These have a minimum deposit of $1,000. The CDs with terms of 12 months and longer are also available in an IRA. Note, the rates won't lock until the day they receive the funds and the application. So mailing applications can be risky if rates drop.
Another good deal is their money market and savings account. The Independence Savings has a 4.05% APY. The minimum to open is $100 and the minimum balance to avoid a $3 monthly fee is $300. The Premium Money Market has a yield of 4.00% APY on all balances. The minimum to open is $1,000, and the minimum balance to avoid a monthly fee is $2,500 (there seems to be some descrepancy on their page about the monthly fee).
With the current rate environment, these rates are likely to fall. However, Independence Bank does have some history with high rates. My first post on this bank was back in August 2006 when the savings account yield was 5.25% APY.
Another perk about this bank is that they offer an ACH bank-to-bank transfer service for their liquid accounts. I was told the standard transfers (3 business days) are free. There are no limits on the number of external accounts that can be linked. According to the CSR, there's no hard credit inquiry. They just do a ChexSystem verification.
You can mail in the applications, but they only accept applications from California.
Independence Bank has branches at Newport Beach, Fountain Valley and San Juan Capistrano, California.
The bank is rather young. It has been FDIC insured since September of 2004. It's also a small bank with only 20 employees and $205 million in assets. The bank is rated 3 out of 5 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com based on 9/30/07 data. This is the same rating they had when I reported on them in 2006.