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New Flex CDs at Wilshire State Bank - Nationally Available


Wilshire Bank
Update 8/17/09: The 12-month Flex CD rate has fallen to 2.00% APY, and the 18-month Flex CD is no longer available.

Wilshire State Bank has started offering Flex CDs with some competitive rates. As of 6/21/09, the rates include a 2.30% APY for 12 months and a 2.40% APY for 18 months. The rates are not the best, but the flex features help make them more competitive. These features include:
  • Unlimited deposits of at least $1,000, up to a maximum balance of $95,000.
  • Six withdrawals are allowed within the term (in any amount of $1,000 or more)
Minimum initial deposit is $10,000 with a minimum balance of $1,000 to earn interest. New money is required.

Wilshire State Bank recently cut the rates on its regular CDs. These short-term CD rates had been very competitive. Now the only CD with a rate over 2% is the 1-year CD with a 2.15% APY. They also recently ended the money market special that had guaranteed 2.80% APY for balances of at least $100K through 2009.

In my June 8th post on Wilshire, I noted the rate cuts on their eLink savings account and their Rainbow Installment Savings Account. Even with the rate cuts, both of these accounts remain competitive (see account review).

When I contacted Wilshire State Bank in April, I was told that the accounts that have the online application can be opened by people in any state. After you submit the application online, you have to print and mail the form. They'll send you a signature card to complete. There appears to be one complication with the Flex CD application. It only allows you to select a 6-month term which isn't even listed as an available term in the Flex CD page. I've sent them an email about this.

Wilshire State Bank is Korean-American bank with branches in Southern California, New York, New Jersey and Dallas, Texas.

The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are strong: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial (based on 3/31/09 data) and 4 stars (sound) at (based on 12/31/08 data) The bank has been a FDIC member since 1980 (FDIC Certificate # 23301).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of these new Flex CDs.

Other Top Certificate of Deposit Rates
  Tags: New York, California, CD rates, New Jersey, Wilshire Bank, Texas

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Lets admitted Guys, the banks are throwing at us some pitiful crumbs, hopping that someone will bite at it.
I'm not falling for it, how about you?

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Please tell me what the alternative to "falling for it" would be?

Keep it in a non-interest checking account? Sure, that will really teach them a lesson.

Put it in a money market fund paying 0.34%. Yeah!!!

Or how about flipping unoccupied houses in the desert or condos in Miami? That's the ticket to riches for non-suckers.

Don't just tell me not to fall for it, give me some other alternative.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
"Wilshire State Bank is Korean-American bank "

Very interesting. I find it interesting that this Korean-American bank is using a very non-Korean name. Nothing wrong with a Korean-American bank--or any other xxxx-American bank for that matter--as we have the preponderance of our cash funds in a CD at a Korean-American bank, but that Korean-American bank has a distinctly Korean name.

Give the name Wilshire State Bank, I would never have imagined that it was a Korean-American bank. Just like I would never have guessed that Union Bank of California was a Japanese bank. :-)

Comment #4 by Darryl (anonymous) posted on
Just got back from opening the account at the Manhattan branch. It wasn't too difficult, and they let me sign up for the account even though I was not a citizen or PR.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Wilshire Blvd is one of the main streets in Koreatown in Los Angeles, hence the name.

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Per another anonymous poster: Effective August 16, 2009, Wilshire State Bank discontinued its 18 month 2.40% APY CD and reduced the rate on its 12 month Flex CD from 2.30% APY to 2.00% APY. I discovered this at a branch trying to open the 18 month CD. The website has not been updated yet.

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
1-yr Flex CD rate 2% apy goes 1.5% apy 11/2/09. 10K min to open; max 95K. 1K balance required. 6 max withdrawals during term. Deposits (1K min) allowed. Penalty is 3 mo simple interest on withdrawal amounts beyond the 6 max.

If you open an Installment "Rainbow" account, you could store most of the funds for those payments in the Flex CD, since you can draw down to min 1K balance. Most flex or liquid CDs seem to only allow withdrawing up to 50% of principal.

Although it doesn't link to any account, CSR says the option to avoid a branch visit to make the withdrawal is that you can email a request for the withdrawal to be transferred to your other internal accounts. Likely “eLink savings” ($500 min to avoid fees), which first requires a Regular checking ($500 min to avoid fees). Having eLink savings allows electronic transfers (up to 6/mo.) with external accounts. Your email must match what's registered on the accounts, which is how they verify to honor the request. CSR says no fee for this transfer.

The e-Link rate goes down 11/2/09 from 1.75% to 1.5%. Previous rate decline was 8/31/09, so having the Flex CD backs that these declines.

They're open til 1p on Sat 10/31, the last day to lock in the CD and Rainbow Installment rates. Rainbow bonus rates require checking, but if you're not opening an eLink, CSR says "Simple checking" ($100 min) qualifies.

They claim they only check with ChexSystems to open these accounts.

Bankguy has more detailed postings on this bank and all these accounts.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Clarification/correction on above post -
Installment Savings bonus rate requires "Automatic Transfer from a WSB Deposit Account", not specifically Checking. (e.g., instead of either Simple checking or eLink w/Regular checking, you could have a MMA, tho' MMA is only 0.5% on 11/2 for <100K.)