There have been a few interesting banking-related news stories this weekend. Here's a summary of them.
Online Savings Accounts and Promotions
The first is a Business Week article that covers online savings accounts and the latest promotion from HSBC Direct. The article notes that competition among online banks has helped to minimize the rate cuts. Savings account rates have gone down a lot since the Fed started to cut rates, but it has been less than the cut to the Fed funds rate. I would estimate the average online savings account rate has fallen about 2% while the Fed funds rate has fallen 3.25%. Refer to my last weekly summary for links and discussions of the best savings accounts and promotions.
Bank of America's Buyout of Countrywide
The buyout is looking more likely as this NY Times article describes. Included in the article are the many Countrywide problems that are worrying investors. According to a Bank of America spokesman quoted in the article, "We understood that there was a black hole from here to there and that Countrywide was going to go through some financial difficulties. We did more due diligence than we have ever done on a deal and we concluded that the hole was manageable."
Countrywide continues to offer some high CD rates. The highest rates are not available through the internet, but through their financial centers (see post).
Federal Regulators Reported to be Scrutinizing National City
National City Bank may be in worse shape than has been publicly reported according to this Wall Street Journal article. The article reports that National City has entered into a non-public memorandum of understanding that effectively puts the bank on probation with federal regulators. More details are provided in this freely accessible MarketWatch article.
National City continues to offer some good CD and money market promotions (see post).
Thanks to the readers who mentioned these articles in the finding-the-best-deals post.