BankUnited has started a new CD special with a yield of 4.35% APY for a 12-month term. The minimum deposit is $5,000. New money is required.
This seems to replace the 4% CDs for terms of 9 to 12 months that I reported on two weeks ago.
It appears that you can apply online to open this CD. For an April post, I had called BankUnited, and I was told by the banking rep that these CDs are available to people in any state. Also, the banking rep said that the rate would lock at the time you apply. After you apply, they'll send you the documents to sign. You can then mail in those documents along with your check. You can also do a wire transfer to fund the CD. When the CD is closed, you can instruct them by phone to either send you a check or perform a wire transfer. I wasn't too impressed with the banking rep, so please verify yourself before opening the CD.
BankUnited's Online Savings Account
BankUnited is still offering its high yield online savings account. The account used to be one of the rate leaders, but in the last few months it has fallen way behind. The current yield is 3.00% APY. My last post on this was in January 2007. BankUnited finally added an ACH transfer system to this savings account, but with the low rate and the customer service problems that many readers have noted, it's still not a good deal.
BankUnited's Financial Health
BankUnited has been hit hard by the real estate slump and mortgage problems. BankUnited Financial Corp.'s share price has been on a roller coaster over the last week. On July 15th, the share price fell to 43 cents from the fallout of Indymac's failure and the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But bank stocks rallied later last week, and BankUnited's share price closed at $2 on Friday. As reported by this Miami Herald article, BankUnited's president tried to ease worries by claiming "We are very well-capitalized. We don't have subprime loans; we don't have raw land exposure; 40 percent of our mortgages have mortgage insurance."
As this news article describes, BankUnited is one of the few banks in the nation that banking analyst Dick Bove considers to be in a danger zone. The financial rating services generally support this although BauerFinancial's rating seems a little soft. Bankrate.com's latest ratings is a 1 star based on 3/31/08 data which is down from 3 stars on 12/31/07 data. BauerFinancial gives it 3 stars (adequate) based on 3/31/08 data.
As I recommend with any bank, make sure you stay below the FDIC limits. BankUnited has been FDIC insured since it was established in 1984 (FDIC Certificate # 32247). Its main office is in Coral Gables, Florida.
Thanks to the readers who mentioned this latest CD special in the comments and in email.