Banco Popular is offering a 2.50% APY 15-month CD special. Minimum deposit is $1,000. This special isn't listed at Banco Popular's website. A reader mentioned seeing these advertised, and I just called for additional details. I was only able to check rates for New York and South Florida. Rates can vary by region. I was also told of a 2.75% APY 24-month CD special in South Florida and a 2.65% APY 36-month CD special in New York.
If you receive a rate quote for your location, please leave a comment. They have a toll-free number at 1-800-377-0800. Press zero to connect to a CSR, and ignore the multiple requests for your account number.
According to the CSR, these rates are scheduled to last through Thursday, 7/09/09. These may change on Friday. No checking account is required, and these should be available for both new and existing customers. New money is required in New York but not in Florida.
Update: Another reader just reported seeing a money market promo advertised in California. Here is her summary of the ad:
Banco Popular has an ad in today's Los Angeles Times (Business section, page B3) about a new Preferred Money Market Account paying 2% APY guaranteed through October 31, 2009. In the tiny print, it says it requires a checking account with a minimum collected amount of $1,000 as well as a minimum collected amount of $10,000 in the MMA. If the balance in the MMA drops below $10,000, you can get 1.2% APY on the MMA if you still have $1,000 in the checking account.
Branches are located in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Rates vary by state, so make sure to call to verify.
Financial Overview: Banco Popular's parent, Popular Inc, has been trying to recover from heavy losses it has taken in this financial crisis. It was reported in May that Popular is planning to shed 20% of its US branches to improve profitability. In June Popular announced plans to boost its Tier 1 common equity. It also announced that it would suspend dividends.
Banco Popular North America's financial ratings have fallen considerably in the last year. BauerFinancial now rates the bank as zero star based on 3/31/09 data. It had been 3 stars based on 6/30/08 data. Bankrate.com still has 2 stars (below peer group), but this is based on 12/31/08 data. As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay under the FDIC limits. Banco Popular North America is a member FDIC (FDIC Certificate # 34967).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of these specials.
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