Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

New Online Savings Account at Venture Bank Direct

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Update 9/12/09: Venture Bank has been closed. The FDIC has arranged for First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company to acquire all deposits.

Update 9/11/09: The APY has fallen from 1.43% to 1.18%.
Update 3/21/09: The APY has fallen from 2.48% to 2.00%.
Update 2/05/09: The APY has fallen from 3.30% to 2.48%.
Update 1/17/09: The APY has fallen from 3.50% to 3.30%.
Update 11/27/08: The yield has fallen to 3.60% APY.
Update 10/03/08: The yield has increased to 3.80% APY.
Update 9/08/08: The yield has increased to 3.75% APY.

Venture Bank has started a new internet bank called Venture Bank Direct which offers a no-minimum high yield savings account. The yield is currently 3.30% APY which is competitive, but it's nothing to get excited about when there are several online banks offering 3.50% APY and above.

The online account seems to be fairly typical. Some of the basic features include:
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Deposits and withdrawals done by ACH transfers from external linked account
  • Interest is compounded monthly and paid monthly

More details are described in the bank's FAQ page. According to this FAQ beneficiaries can be added, and they have a document (pdf) describing how a husband, wife and child can be FDIC insured to $800,000.

The website and FAQs leave out several important features. Below is a list of these based on what I was told by the banking rep. Update 10/13/08: The bank has made changes to this account, and the following list has been updated based on info from the bank's new FAQ page and the bank-to-bank transfer service agreement:
  • Appears to be no hard credit inquiry. This is the CSR's reply to my question: "No. We do not pull a full credit report. Instead we do a Check Systems inquiry and Identity Verification."
  • Application can be done all online. No documents are required to be mailed.
  • The funding account can be either a checking or savings account
  • You can have up to 3 external linked accounts
  • First 3 withdrawals are free per month, each withdrawal over 3 incurs a $1.00 fee.
  • Deposits may be withdrawn after 5 business days
  • External transfers can take 2 – 4 business days
  • 3 inbound transfers per day not to exceed a total of $50,000
  • 3 outbound transfers per day not to exceed a total of $10,000

Venture Bank is based in Washington State. It has been FDIC insured since 1979 (FDIC Certificate # 22868). This can be confirmed at this FDIC page. Note, only the main bank's URL is listed (venture-bank.com). I've contacted Venture Bank by using the contact information at this URL, and I've confirmed that venturebankdirect.com is operated by Venture Bank. The bank has $1.2 billion in assets and $917 million in deposits based on 6/30/08 data. The bank has a 2-star rating (below peer group) at Bankrate.com and a 3.5 star rating (good) at BauerFinancial based on 3/31/08 data.

  Tags: savings account

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Comments
10 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"6 withdrawal limit per statement cycle and a $1 per withdrawal fee after 3 withdrawals per statement cycle."

Interesting. So they charge even for three of the six withdrawals allowed per reg. D? Havent encountered that yet.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Their rate has now been increased to 3.75%

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
now 3.80%

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
new ach system has been set up for external funding.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
http://www.venturebankdirect.com/transfer-service-agreement.php

...says maximum of...

Three (3) inbound transfers per day not to exceed a total of $50,000.
Three (3) outbound transfers per day not to exceed a total of $10,000.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks for the tip. Venture Bank Direct was easy to get started. 3.8% APY and 3 linked accounts for convenience.

Great online savings account!

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
FYI heard a rumour that Venture Bank was in trouble. Just a rumour of course. You wonder with thr high rates? Isn't it cheaper to borrow from FHLB or the FED,then to attract deposits at these rates.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I understand that venturebankdirect.com is in the process of launching their online checking account. Current savings interest is 3.6% APY.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bauer Financial and Bankrate now give Venture Bank their lowest 1 star rating.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Party's over...down to 2.48%

1