Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

3.56% Short-Term Internet CDs and Other Competitive Rates Continue at Hanmi Bank - CA Only


Hanmi Bank
Update 3/11/09: The internet CD rates are now posted at this CD rate table. New APY's: 1.76% 3mo, 2.02% 6mo, 2.53% 9mo and 2.79% 12mo.

Hanmi Bank continues to offer several competitive deposit products. Their online-only products include CDs with a 3.56% APY for terms of 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Minimum deposit is $1,000. They also have an Internet Savings Account with an APY of 3.04%. Minimum balance to avoid a $3/month fee is $500. These rates are listed in the bank's internet accounts page as of 2/24/09.

Update 3/05/09: Hamni Bank has stopped offering the Freedom CD.

Hamni Bank also continues to offer a competitive rate on its Freedom CD Plus. This CD requires a branch visit. As of 2/24/09, the rate is 3.43% APY with a 6-month term. It allows up to 3 partial withdrawals during the term without penalty. It also allows unlimited deposits through the term in increments of $1,000. Minimum deposit is $10,000. Maximum deposit is $1 million. The rate is listed at the bank's Freedom CD Plus Page as of 2/24/09. It's also being advertised on the bank's home page.

For all of these deposit products, the bank requires that customers be California residents.

Branches are located in several California cities including Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga, San Francisco and Santa Clara.

Hanmi Bank is having a tough time in this financial crisis. As described in this LA Business Journal article the bank's holding company reported disappointing fourth quarter results and a disappointing 2009 outlook. The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are weak: 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate and 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial. Both are based on 9/30/08 data. As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay under the FDIC limits. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1982 (Certificate # 24170).
  Tags: California, CD rates, Hanmi Bank

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anyone know how you fund these online CDs?

Comment #2 by DataIsGold (anonymous) posted on
They let you ACH fund. You can login to do instant verification, which didn't work for me. Then it defaults to small deposit verification.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Most Korean banks, including Hanmi, have higher interest rates for people who commit to monthly deposits into a CD. 4.5% with automatic deductions from an account. So you pay 12 equal monthly installments of say $500 and get 4.5% interest as you deposit it. There are penalties for not meeting the schedule, but for many people, this is a good option that no one (like this site, or fatwallet finance, etc) ever mentions.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
I opened the Freedom CD 3/2/09, very simple, quick process in the branch, wrote a check out to my own name which they deposited to the account and immediately started earning interest. I've checked the site today (3/4/09) and it appears the Freedom Plus CD, however, is no longer available.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
For anyone in California, near a Hanmi branch, I would recommend this bank. - Just had a weird but positive experience w/that bank.-- On 3/1 I opened an Internet Savings account (out of which I was gonna open some CDs also), and the online opening process was very easy, smooth, and they give you imagage & personal phrase security, and also the option for beneficiary (as opposed to that complicated costly Living Trust option which ING only offers, where I'm closing out as their rates dropped too much). -- The funding was flawless, w/instant verification which I never seen anywhere else or small deposit verification, and instant verification worked for me!-- But a day later when I wanted to see if & where I could add or change external checking account info I noticed there was no place/tab in my account for that.-- Contacted their ebanking support & got immediate response from a Joon Kim, where he explained that savings can initially be funded from my checking account, but their bank has no capabilities to draw funds into my account for future deposits, they'd have to be done at branch visits ... and since I'm not willing to drive an hour to the nearest branch I requested if they could help me stop the account opening process & not withdraw the initial 5k out of my checking account, so I could try open an account at a different bank where everything can be done thru ACH & with no branch visits, and this online rep. Joon Kim was absolutely helpful & courteous!!-- But for anyone near a Hanmi branch I would recommend them & their great rates on savings & CDs.-- By the way, thank you in korean is: kamsa hamnida, and I told Joon this, although when he also left a helpful message on my machine about how to close the account again without complications, he does not have an accent at all --(dispelling this myth about Korean banks being not respectul or only speaking in their own language around "outsiders", which another blogger commented on). -- I wish I'd live closer to a branch (than an hours drive), and I'd be their customer in a second & without hesitation!!!--Sincerely Vera in California

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
The Freedom CD is no longer available. :(

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
I just opened two online CDs (3 month and 6 month). The process was easy. Instant verification worked for me, but it turned on "bill pay" at my bank! I was told by a Hanmi rep that they "don't do that". After a bit of discussion, I think he might actually beleive that it did happen, and that I didn't do it! They also are having a bit of a problem this morning, and account numbers are not being assigned as accounts are created online. They expect to have that fixed today. I think their electronic banking help desk is getting a lot of calls this morning because I was on hold for 20+ minutes. Rates are still at 3.56% APY.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Rates dropped this morning:

Internet CD
Term Min Funding Rate APY*

3 Months $1,000 1.75% 1.76%
6 Months $1,000 2.00% 2.02%
9 Months $1,000 2.50% 2.53%
12 Months $1,000 2.75% 2.79%

*APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APY and rates effective as of 3/11/09

Comment #9 by Hypnotoad (anonymous) posted on
I opened two online CDs with Hanmi Bank last week during the 3.56% APY offer. The process went entirely smoothly, and the accounts were funded by ACH using the trial deposits method to verify the external account. In each case, I was able to verify the trial amounts within about 16 hours of filing the application... remarkably fast. One other thing I liked was that upon opening the account, but prior to funding, Hanmi's website produced a print-ready pdf receipt showing the interest rate locked at 3.56 APY, as advertised, good as long as the account is funded within 5 business days. Smooth sailing... as long as they stay in business.