I received an email this morning from a reader who asked about the highest CD rate available in Southern California. The reader had a 5-year CD that was maturing, and she wanted to roll it over into another local CD. For those with CD ladders, it's depressing to have to roll over 5-year CDs in this interest rate environment. You might think it's unwise to go with a long-term CD these days, but if you believe in the CD ladder strategy, buying long-term CDs is still reasonable. Three years ago, 5-year CDs didn't seem to make much sense vs. short-term CDs. Those who stuck with their CD ladder strategy back then are probably glad they did.
One local option she had already found was OneWest Bank's 5-year CD that's currently paying 3.30% APY. The nice thing about OneWest's 5-year CD is that it has a reasonable 6-month early withdrawal penalty (some banks have much harsher penalties).
She preferred to bank locally, so PenFed's 3.50% APY 60-month CD and Ally Bank's long-term low-penalty CDs weren't options.
I took a look at the CD rates at DepositAccounts, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a SoCal CD rate higher than what OneWest was offering (banks listed without the US map are local deals). Most of the rates at DepositAccounts are updated automatically, so I'm often surprised by what I find. Each bank in the DepositAccounts tables links to the DepositAccounts' hub for the bank where you can find basic overview info, rates and links to related blog posts.
The CD that I found is at Broadway Federal Bank which is offering several CD specials. The highest rate of the CD specials is a 3.56% APY 72-month CD as of 1/27/2010. Here's the DepositAccounts hub for Broadway Federal.
Broadway Federal Bank has an online application, but the longest CD term it lists is the 24-month CD. A branch visit may be required for the longer terms. Branches are located in Los Angeles and Inglewood.
Broadway Federal's ratings for safety and soundness are above average: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 9/30/09 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1947 (FDIC Certificate # 30306).