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4.50% 12-Month / 4.25% 10-Month CD at a Georgia Bank (Integrity).

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Update 8/29/08: The bank has been closed by regulators. See post for more details.

Integrity Bank has a new CD promotion with some attractive rates: a 4.50% APY 12-month CD, a 4.00% APY 6-month CD and a 3.75% APY 3-month CD. There's also a special 10-month CD with a yield of 4.25% APY. The minimum deposit is $1,000, and the maximum deposit is $90,000. The bank also offers IRA CD's. The two competitive IRA CD rates include a 4.00% APY for a 6-month term and a 4.30% APY for a 12-month term.

The 12-month special CD has a bump option which allows you to increase the rate once during the term if rates go up. The bank has been raising rates over the last month (see previous post), so there's a chance this bump option could come in handy.

The bank also has a reward checking account, and the rate of this account has recently increased to 5% APY on balances up to $25,000. I first reported on this reward checking in this June post.

At the bottom of their rate table it states that they do not accept out of state funds. The bank has branches in the Georgia cities of Alpharetta, Roswell, Smyrna, Duluth, and Cumming. All of these cities are just north of Atlanta.

The bank has been hurt in the real estate slump. According to this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article "its strategy of funding construction in Atlanta's booming northern suburbs fizzled, loading the bank with about $270 million in non-performing loans and other assets." However, the bank hired a new CEO last year who was described in the article as a "former bank regulator turned fix-it guy for banks", and the bank is working closely with regulators to improve its operations. As you would suspect, the bank currently has some low financial ratings: 0 star at BauerFinancial and 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 3/31/08 data.

As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay below the FDIC limits. The bank has been FDIC insured since 2000 (Certificate # 35469).

  Tags: Georgia, CD rates, IRA rates

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Comments
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This particular bank’s “bump option” may be perfectly legitimate, but some of these need a “buyer beware” warning label, so be careful.

Just a few weeks ago I called a small Indiana bank that advertised a pretty good CD rate, but the kicker in their ad - in big print - was that “twice during the term the depositor could bump up the CD’s rate if rates rise above the CD’s rate”. Sounded great, but then I noticed in the finest of fine print at the bottom they said the same thing but added the term “standard” in front of “rates rise”. I called to ask about that, and it turned out that their advertised, pretty good rate was what they termed a “special” rate, not what they termed a “standard” rate - and the “standard” rate for the term (24 months) was a full 2 points lower than the “Special”! So, it only would make sense for the depositor to do a bump if the “standard” rate rose over 2 percentage points above their current “special” rate! Add to this the fact they could really play fast and loose with the terminology “standard” and “special”, including which (if any) customers are offered each of these, or whether they are offered at all.

So, watch out.

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