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Three Banks Closed by Regulators Including Darby Bank & Trust Co.

POSTED ON BY

Three banks failed today which brings the yearly total of banks failures to 146. Two of the failed banks were in Georgia and one was in Arizona.

One of the Georgia banks that failed was Darby Bank & Trust Co. This is the bank that operated Darby Direct which offered an internet savings account and CDs. One notable CD was the 3-year step-up CD that was first offered in August 2009. Many readers had opened this last year. The step-up feature involved three steps: 3% for the first year, 4% for the second year and 5% for the third year. If Ameris Bank decides not to honor these CDs to maturity, most of the 4% step and all the 5% step will never take effect. This shows the downsides of a step-up CD.

The bank that took over Darby, Ameris Bank, has not made a decision about existing CD rates at Darby. The FDIC just has its typical line, "current rates will be reviewed by the acquiring institution and may be lowered." The chance is high that Ameris Bank will lower these CD rates. If rates are lowered, depositors will be allowed to make a penalty-free early withdrawal. Hopefully, Ameris Bank will inform depositors of its decision quickly, especially if it decides to make the new rates effective at the closure date. If you had a CD with Darby, please let us know what Ameris Bank decides.

On the positive side, Ameris Bank assumed all deposits, even those above the FDIC limit. The only exceptions are brokered deposits. So those who had Darby Direct CDs won't have to worry about losing any of their principal or accrued interest. The only concern will be future interest rates.

Ameris Bank also acquired the other failed Georgia Bank, Tifton Banking Company. This was a small one-office bank.

Today's third failed bank was Copper Star Bank in Arizona. The FDIC arranged for Stearns Bank N.A. to assume all Copper Star Bank deposits except some brokered deposits.

There were no credit union liquidations this week. The total number of credit union liquidations this year remains at 17.

Below is a summary of this week's bank failures:

144th Bank Failure of 2010 (17th in Georgia)

  • FDIC Press Release
  • Closed Bank: Tifton Banking Company, Tifton, GA
  • Size: 1 branch, $143.7 million in assets, $141.6 million in deposits
  • Acquiring Bank: Ameris Bank, Moultrie, GA
  • Possible Uninsured Deposits: All deposit accounts, including brokered deposits, have been assumed by Ameris Bank
  • Rate Changes: Current rates will be reviewed by the acquiring institution and may be lowered
  • Estimated Cost to Deposit Insurance Fund: $24.6 million
  • Enforcement Action: None that were public
  • Financial Ratings: 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com, 0 star at BauerFinancial, 1 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 243.30% at DepositAccounts.com

145th Bank Failure of 2010 (18th in Georgia)

  • FDIC Press Release
  • Closed Bank: Darby Bank & Trust Co., Vidalia, GA
  • Size: 7 branches, $654.7 million in assets, $587.6 million in deposits
  • Acquiring Bank: Ameris Bank, Moultrie, GA
  • Possible Uninsured Deposits: all deposit accounts, excluding Cede and Co. deposits, have been assumed by Ameris Bank
  • Rate Changes: Current rates will be reviewed by the acquiring institution and may be lowered
  • Estimated Cost to Deposit Insurance Fund: $136.2 million
  • Enforcement Action: FDIC 12/18/09 Consent Order
  • Financial Ratings: 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com, 0 star at BauerFinancial, 0 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 377.75% at DepositAccounts.com

146th Bank Failure of 2010 (4th in Arizona)

  • FDIC Press Release
  • Closed Bank: Copper Star Bank, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Size: 3 branches, $204.0 million in assets, $190.2 million in deposits
  • Acquiring Bank: Stearns Bank N.A., St. Cloud, MN
  • Possible Uninsured Deposits: All deposit accounts, excluding the Cede & Co. deposits, have been assumed by Stearns Bank N.A.
  • Rate Changes: Current rates will be reviewed by the acquiring institution and may be lowered
  • Estimated Cost to Deposit Insurance Fund: $43.6 million
  • Enforcement Action: FDIC 1/28/10 Consent Order
  • Financial Ratings: 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com, 0 star at BauerFinancial, 0 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 356.60% at DepositAccounts.com

The above ratings are based on 6/30/2010 data.

References:



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Comments
64 comments.
Comment #1 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
I found out some information from the FDIC today about the time period immediately after a bank changes hands, and will post that in a minute... but just a couple comments. I had the Darby 3/4/5% StepUp CD, and am really sad to see them go under.. but honestly, I'm surprised it took this long with the shape they were in (my hunch is, it took the FDIC this long to find a bank willing to assume them).

First, let's all bow our heads and sing a verse or two of "Oh, My Darby"
(sung to the tune of "Oh My Darling):

Oh my Darby, Oh my Darby, Oh my Daaaarby Bank and Trust...
You got greedy, then were needy, so bankruuuuptcy's now a must.

We all flocked there, eager savers, bank of hiiiigh interest lore...
First twas three, then it was four, but you are saaadly no more...

I saw the listing up on the FDIC's website pretty early today. I had made it a habit to check each Friday to see if Darby had survied another week, but unfortunately, they didn't. The FDIC set up numbers for people to call with questions (different numbers for customers of each of the failed banks) but the rep who answered at the FDIC's Darby number (1-800-823-5028) couldn't even understand simple questions, and was probably the worst CSR I'd ever encountered at the FDIC. So I decided to call the FDIC's number for the other failed Georgia bank, as well as their main number as well, as the questions I had were general questions that pertain to all closed banks. Basically what I wanted to know was what the FDIC's rules or guidelines are in regards to rate changes right after the bank changes hands. Here's what I found out from the FDIC:

(1) All interest THROUGH Friday (Nov 12th) will be given at the rates of the old bank.
(2) The acquiring bank has the right to change rates and terms of existing accounts.
(3) As a customer, you have the right to close your account without penalty however.
(4) Interestingly, even if the bank decides to HONOR the exact same rates and terms, you STILL have the right to close your account without penalty, because another institution has taken over your old bank (this I didn't know before).
(5) However if you actually go so far as to INFORM the acquiring bank that you will in fact STAY with them, I was told by two different FDIC agents that that will then mean you can no longer close your account without penalty (so in other words, it's best not to commit yourself, because if you remain non-commital, you have an out, instead of boxing yourself in). In time, the bank may ask you directly though, if you accept their new terms and want to stay with them, at which point you'll have to decide. But in the meantime, be very careful. Don't volunteer that you for sure will stay with them until you have to decide, because once you inform them you will, you're locked in. You do NOT have to tell them now if you plan to stay or not, you can tell them you'll think about it and just leave it be if you want to stay.
(6) If the acquiring bank wants to change the terms the old bank was giving, they can do so at any time.
(7) They do NOT have to give customers advance warning before changing the terms.
(8) However they are supposed to send letters out as soon as the terms are changed, informing customers of the change (though it would probably take at least a few days to receive them -- so if you want to know, it's best to call them and ask).
(9) According to the FDIC, until the acquiring bank has decided to change the terms, the OLD terms are in effect -- and while the acquiring bank can change the terms at any time, they CANNOT make the changes retroactive. In other words, Darby failed today, on a Friday. If the acquiring bank doesn't decide to change the terms until, say, Monday, then the accounts are still supposed to receive the old Darby rates for Saturday and Sunday (until the new terms have been decided upon). According to the FDIC, they can't go back and give you the new terms for Saturday and Sunday if they didn't decide on the new terms until Monday. However, the new bank could have decided to change the terms at 5:00pm on today (Friday), but customers won't know about it until Monday (the next time there's business hours). I read in an news article this afternoon somewhere (forgot to bookmark it) that the acquiring bank had already prepared its own branches to work with Darby as far as merging some of their systems... so it looks like Ameris Bank has had plenty of time to think about things. Because of this, I wouldn't be surprised if they changed the terms immediately (but that's just a guess on my part). What customers of Darby should do, is to call the acquiring bank first thing Monday morning to see if new terms have been decided upon yet. Again, they don't have to inform customers before making the change (they just have to send out letters at or around the time of the change) -- but according to the FDIC, they're supposed to pay at the old rates even AFTER taking over Darby until they've made a decision to change the terms. On a personal note, I screen-captured my account information after the close of business on Friday with Darby (including the amount of interest paid to date) so it should be relatively easy to see if Ameris actually does keep paying the old Darby rate until they announce changes (assuming they didn't change it immediately, which they very well could have).

I was one of those people who lived out of state, but went to Georgia to open an account at Darby back when they allowed that. I did the math, and even with them going under today, I still came out ahead in the end (the rate difference between Darby and what I could get locally more than covered the cost for me to go out there -- and I got to see a bit of Georgia as well).

When Darby tried to break their own rules and change their terms mid-stream (to stop allowing deposits to their CDs), I complained officially to the FDIC about it, and they had to stop trying to change the rules. I understand that Darby was hurting and didn't want more depsots at which they'd have to pay out a high rate -- but they suffered because of their own business practices, and a bank that can't abide by their own rules shouldn't be in business anymore

One more comment about Darby though -- EVERYONE I encountered at the bank was extremely kind, courteous, and helpful -- both in the branch when I went to open the account, as well as on the phone later on. Even when they tried to change their policy, their CSR kindly said they'd be willing to make an occasional exceptions for me, etc. I don't think I've ever been inside a friendlier bank, and I really am sad to see them go. There's no comparison between a community bank and the coldness of a megabank like Chase, BofA and Wells. I don't bank with the Big Boys; I don't like them at all. I have decent savings, and it's all in credit unions or community banks. I hope the Darby employees at the front lines will be able to keep their jobs. As well as their rates, Darby's friendly, helpful staff was a big plus.

Finally, does anyone have any suggestions on where to put their funds now? I'm sure there are a lot of readers/posters here who went with Darby, and we all now have to find someplace else. Thankfully I managed to open a 3.25% 5yr-add-on CD recently as insurance for when/if Darby goes under. I guess that's not a bad rate now (but still not the 4% Darby was paying) -- though 5 years means it'll be stuck at 3.25% until almost 2016. I'm wondering if other Darby customers have found anything else.

Goodbye Darby. You'll be missed. Seriously. It was the perfect CD (rates, unlimited add-on, able to close penalty-free each year) at a friendly bank. Wish you could have been around longer.

In the meantime, let's all post here any information we find out what Ameris Bank plans to do.

Hope this post was helpful.
Bye, Darby.

18
Comment #2 by AtlantaWolf posted on
AtlantaWolf
I agree, Darby had the nicest people to work with on the phone and were already very friendly and helpful. I hope the employees are happy with the new bank (assuming they keep those branches, since Ameris had no branches in vidalia or savannah). It must be stressful to suddenly have a new job (or no job for the officers of the company), but I can only assume they saw it coming and hopefully prepared for it (updated resume, added to savings, etc). My guess the only 'change' will be new signage next week, then eventually reorganize and move people around to combine redundant positions.

For me, I don't see any other choice than return to a life of buying gasoline in $1 increments with reward checking accounts. Buy lunch one taco at a time. The difference between RCAs and anything else is huge. They pay double or triple the interest (comparing 3.5-4.0% average RCA to about 1.0-1.5% for savings/short CDs).

I assume Ameris will lower their rates, I mean really folks, are they going to pay 4%/5% in today's market to keep a bunch of rate-chasers?

Bye Darby, we'll miss your rates and your smiles!

2
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#2 "For me, I don't see any other choice than return to a life of buying gasoline in $1 increments with reward checking accounts... "    You might not want to share about your reward checking account habits on here as there are some folks on this blog that are super-critical of such methods, believing that it will bring down the interest paid on reward checking accounts for all .  Personally, I don't think that has anything to do with what a bank offers for interest on RCAs.  Just like the Fed Reserve's attitude toward savers,  there are some on here that have no comassion whatsoever for people on fixed incomes that are trying desparately to survive in this low interest environment without complete exhausting their principal.  I for one am very sympathetic and feel that more needs to be said on this blog, and in the media in general about how savers, and especially fixed income seniors, ect. are getting the shaft from our government and banks , and demand a change in direction. 

5
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I follow all this stuff but I still can't explain why the govt insists on driving down interest rates.  I'm sure there's an explanation but I'm frustrated that I don't understand it.  Mortgage rates have been low for quite some time and that hasn't made any difference.  Loan rates are also low but lenders don't seem to really want to lend to small businesses, etc.  So is that it?  Is it to drive savings into the stock market so that looks good?  See, I don't understand it.  Anyone with a little bit of money feels desperate on what to so and I'm sure as hell not going to go on a spending spree with this level of non-confidence.  With all the damage the govt is doing to those with cash savings, there surely has to be a rationale with realistic expectations.   So can someone who really understands what they're doing please explain it.  I'm sure I can't be the only person out there that's left confused.  Thanks.

4
Comment #5 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
I just found a VERY interesting, short article on Darby from Savannah's newspaper's website. It's worth reading:

http://savannahnow.com/exchange/2010-11-13/darby-bank-closed-regulators-branches-reopen-part-ameris-bank

There's lots of interesting information about Darby -- as well as potentially troubling information about the bank that just acquired Darby. First, it says Darby's Texas Ratio number was a whopping 521 (here on Deposit Accounts it's listed as being 377... I don't know if the discrepancy is from old data vs new, or different formulas). But as the article says, "scores under 50 [are] considered good, and those over 100 worrisome." So Darby was in mighty bad shape. But so, apparently, is the acquiring bank (Ameris). Not as bad as Darby, but certainly not rock-solid strong -- which makes me wonder why the FDIC is letting them acquire so many other failed banks when the health of Ameris themselves is only average at best. According to the article, Ameris has a Texas Ratio of 43 -- just so-so. I would have thought that a bank should be on excellent (not just so-so) ground for the FDIC to let them take on numerous failed banks, as Ameris has done lately (the two from Georgia yesterday just being their latest). In fact, Ameris has had nothing but losses for quite a while: they've reported NINE STRAIGHT LOSSES for every quarter going back to 2008 -- and has lost $4.9 million in just since the beginning of the year. Is it really smart for the FDIC to let a bank whose footing is only so-so buy up one failed bank after another?

Other interesting information from the article is that 90% of Darby's loans involved property -- and 98% of its non-performing assests were real estate loans. They lost over $50 million over the last 7 quarters.

From the article:
"As one banking analyst said of the situation, [new Darby CEO] Fisher was like the world-class surgeon who is brought in to work on a trauma patient after the patient is past the point of saving. The recession took firm hold locally in 2009, and Darby went from making a $1.3 million profit in 2008 to losing $28.65 million in 2009. Darby lost another $22.3 million in the first three quarters of this year."

2
Comment #6 by AtlantaWolf posted on
AtlantaWolf
I called Darby, and after being on hold just a few seconds, she said there were no rate changes at this time and I would be notified if there were. I could hear the phones ringing in the background so I guess they're having a busier-than-usual Monday.

Online account confirms "Interest Rate 3.9200%", "APY 4.0000%".

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
An AmerisBank CS just told me that the existing Darby step-up CD agreement will be honored in its entirety until maturity and that confirmation letters were being sent out.

2
Comment #8 by Dave posted on
Dave
Regarding comment #7 above...that does not necessarily mean they will honor the 4% avg apy on the 36-month CD, which Ameris certainly has the right to change.

 

When I called Ameris this morning, a CSR said both:

1. Darby Direct website will still be active for the near term until it is consolidated into Ameris' online systems.

2. CD rates won't change immediately, but if they do they will send out a snail mail letter.

If they do drop the rates precipitously, we all have the option of just cashing out of the CDs with no penalty. Just got to be careful not to wait too long and get stuck for the remaining almost 2 years on the CD with a poor rate.

1
Comment #9 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Very quickly as I'm on the way to work now, but I checked this morning online and there's been NO new interest to my Darby 3/4/5 CD. Usually each day there's a bit more that's shown except on the weekends, and then on Monday it will show the last couple day's interest. But I checked this morning and it's the same as it was Friday after close when it should show more.

Can those who call Darby please get the NAME of the people you speak to (saying it will be honored) and where they are (ie, at a Darby Branch, their online, at Ameris, etc). It'd be nice if they did in fact honor the original terms/rates, but I don't have confidence that they will (though I hope they will, if they don't, I'm pulling eveything out). Please folks, keep posting here. Unfortunately I'll be in meetings all day the next couple days during bank hours and may not be able to call myself. But where did you guys call? Darby's online Cust Serv? Ameris? Thanks!!

 

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
SaverGuy99, Thanks for all the info.  I actually live in GA, but still opened my accounts with Darby online, not sure why you took the time to drive all the way to a branch location to do so in person, when you could do so from the comfort of your PC.

 

anyway, I will be checking back her each day to see what recommendations other X-Darby customers are considering, although the pickin’s seem very slim.

 

R.I.P. Darby

1
Comment #11 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
LATEST news (Monday evening) from Darby: it looks like rates WILL unfortunately be changing -- and it might have started already (see note below about my own account's lower interest being credited).

When I called Darby, I was told by thier (ex-Darby) CSR that as of now rates are remaining the same -- though then I called Ameris bank. At first their toll-free line was busy (just got a recording to leave a message and they'll return the call). They did, and left a message for me saying that as of now rates haven't changed (they may be wrong -- they may have already changed, see below), but if I had further questions, to call a different number: 912-238-1699. When I called that number later on today, the operator there transferred me to customer service, and I was told the following:

The Ameris CSR at that number said that as of now, rates hadn't changed yet, but that this coming THURSDAY (in 3 days) they will be sending out a letter informing us of what they plan to do, and if we like it we can stay with them, and if we don't we have the option to withdraw all the funds. She didn't come out and say they'd be changing things, but she pretty much alluded to it. So as of now (Monday) the rates haven't changed (according to them -- though I think they already have), but it looks like over the next couple days they'll be finalizing their plans, and the CSR at Ameris said they will be sending out letters to everyone this Thursday. So those of you who have time might want to call on Thursday (again, I'll be working and in meetings, it'll be very hard for me to get through, but I might try). Truthfully, if they change the terms, I want to be able to withdraw ASAP, as every day it sits there (if terms change for the worse), that's lost interest when it could be elsewhere.

On another note, I think they've already changed the terms (or didn't credit me the proper interest) because the interest shown today is MUCH less (on a daily basis) than it has been for the last year or so. Folks, why don't you check your accounts online and see if yours is the same way. What I mean by this is, though the interest is posted only yearly, when you log on online, you can see the "interest this period" -- which always increases day by day. In other words, it might be (for instance) $160.12 on Monday, then $161.85 on Tuesday, then $163.03 on Wednesday, etc. So if you logged in at the close of each day, you'd see the amount in that catagory go up each day by the same amount (except for the weekend when it's not updated; on Monday it gets updated for the weekend as well). Well, I screen-captured my interest on Friday BEFORE the close, then AFTER the close when it was taken over. And yes, the proper interest was credited as of Friday night. Well this morning (Monday) I looked at it before going to work, and instead of being updated with interest for Saturday and Sunday, it was the same as it was on Friday. I asked the ex-Darby rep this morning and she said that's because they're working on the system, and by this afternoon after business it'll be back to normal. So I just checked now (after close of business on Monday) -- but the interest seems to be less than HALF of what it has been beforehand. There should have been 3 day's worth of interest credited (Sat, Sun, and Mon), but it's only a little more than what would have normally been credited for 1 day's worth of interest. So something's wrong, or it's really gone down. It looks (just rough figuring) like they're paying a rate of 1.6% or something around that, instead of 4%. I know how much has been added every day for the past couple of weeks (I've been monitoring it, it's been constant everyday before the bank failed) and again, after close of business on Monday today, instead of there being 3 days worth of interest (Sat, Sun, Mon) at the level it's always been, it instead was only slightly more than 1 days worth of interest at the old rate (even though 3 days went by). So that doesn't bode well. It also means either they've made an error, or have already reset the system with lower rates.

Anyway, let's keep this thread active here, at least for the next couple of days and see what their plans are. Again, they're supposed to be sending out letters on Thurs.

2
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Actually, the interest rate of 3.92% was applied thru 11/13/2010.  Then starting 11/14/2010, although the atated rate still shows 3.92%, my computation indicated that a rate of 1.96% was applied thru today, pretty drastic but not disastrous...  The question now is what will happen to the rest of the CD's original terms.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
If the above post is accurate then they need to tell us now and quit lying about it.  I just don't know what to think about the world anymore.  I don't believe anything anyone tells me and I feel like I have to double-check everything in my life.  What a sucky pessimistic view but god I swear I just would get ****ed daily.  I mean they even tried to change the terms of the original CD.  We live in crazy times.  Sorry for the rant.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I checked/printed my CD "detail" Friday evening, which I think shows interest accured as of the day before Thursday. When I checked yesterday (Mon) there was no change in the accrued interest from what I saw on Friday. I just checked again and one more day's interest was credited at the original rate of 2.47%/2.5%APY (I have  several 18 month no penalty CD's all opened the same day). So it seems they credit interest for Friday (which I guess they have too). The fact that they didn't credit any interest for the Sat, Sun, Mon seems to indicate that they definitely have NOT decided to honor CD terms. If they already decided then they would have credit the interest.

1
Comment #15 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Actually I did some computing too, and my figures show them now paying a rate of 1.6% (down from 3.92 percent). 1.6 is pretty bad.

1
Comment #16 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
CORRECTION: as of yet, Darby has NOT changed their rates. Sorry for the posts thinking they have, foks. What happened is that Darby decided to post the weekend's interest in ADVANCE on Friday after close, instead of on Monday morning, so when I looked at the difference of interest between "close of business Friday" and "Monday night" I saw it was hardly anything. But then I compared Friday night to Friday morning, and they had already posted what would be Saturday and Sunday's interest by Friday night (in advance) -- and everything figures out right.

So to sum it up, as of now, Darby IS still paying their old rate. However as I wrote yesterday, an Ameris CSR said they'd be mailing letters out this Thursday and (just from talking to her) it sounded like there might indeed be changes coming, though she just said letters would be going out on Thursday and if we didn't like what we saw, we could close out the account with no penalty. At least for a couple days though, Darby is still paying the old rate.

Will try to keep you informed. But note that some of you may receive your letters earlier than I will (since I no longer live locally) -- so please, as soon as you guys hear something definite (either on phone or in a letter) please post here. Thanks everyone.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
On my account, as of today they are still paying 4.00% APR on my step-up CD, but have dropped the rate on my 18-month breakable CD from 2.50% to .25%.  Ridiculous.  I called and the CSR confirmed, so started the paperwork to close this.  This does not bode well for what they will do with the step-up CD.

2
Comment #18 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Thanks #17 for posting that. You're right, that doesn't bode well. Sorry to hear about the breakable rate change. Could you let us know, is it the Darby "side" of Ameris you're dealing with (the old Darby number and staff) or Ameris? What kind of paperwork is involved in closing (can it be done over the phone or must it be through mail or FAX) and are they going to charge you a wire fee to move funds to another bank?

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have a step up CD and can confirm (based on screen shots taken yesterday and today) they are currently crediting interest daily at a 4% annual rate.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.....

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ok so the FDIC website indicates that if I make a transaction that I've entered into a new deposit agreement. Does that mean if I were to add-on now that that I've commited to the remainder of the CD? I won't (the rumor is the rate change will be announced tomorrow) but if I did, would I be committed to the terms?

The FDIC website also says that I can close the CD anytime until it renews with no penalty.

Can I assume that since I don't see a specified timeline so the the assuming bank can change the CD rate at anytime? or multiple times? Does our relationship to "lower rates"/"terminate anytime" exist until the end of the original CD term?

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Unbelievable service from Darby today!

I logged in this morning and my several 18 mo no penalty 2.5% CD's rate "Detail" dropped to 0.25%. I called the CSR, got switched around a few times, and eventually got a very helpful ex-Darby CSR who confirmed the rate change and also emailed me a CD account closing form (which I could mail, fax, or scan/email back) as well as a wire transfer request form. I had many CD accounts and filled out scanned and emailed the many forms back to the specific CSR's email address. Within an hour I could log in and see all the CD's closed and the balances (including accrued interest)  moved to my savings. I also exchanged a couple of other emails with the same CSR regarding the wire transfer form and got a quick response each time.   You do need to get the wire-transfer notarized, and I did that and scanned/emailed it back. She called me few minutes later to confirm the transfer and said that it will be executed today. The wire transfer fee is $15, but for me the balance is large enough that I'll save that much in interest over ACHing, which usually costs 2 days interest or even more if it spans a weekend.

1
Comment #22 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Yes, as I posted in my first long post, I was always amazed at how friendly and helpful the Darby staff are/were. Could you imagine getting service like that from one of the big banks? It's a shame they are no more. Thanks for the info, we'll all wait and see what their decision is with the step-up.

1
Comment #23 by ChipsMoneyTips (anonymous) posted on
ChipsMoneyTips
I signed in to Darby where I have several 36 month step up CDs. I was getting 4%.  I just clicked on the Details link next to my accounts and they say I am now getting .25%.  I spoke to both Ameris & Darby CSRs.  Both confirmed the rate drop.

I posted Darby's "Certificate of Deposit Withdrawal Form" on my website (ChipsMoneyTips.com) - in case you need one.  The Darby CSR who emailed it to me, said to fill one out for each CD and have the funds transferred into your Darby Online Savings account - where it will earn 1%.  Then request a wire transfer for $15 to move your funds elsewhere.  I have worked with this same CSR previously and she knew her stuff.

2
Comment #24 by kumhomike posted on
kumhomike
Just checked my 3 Year Step-up CD and they have lowered the rate on it to .25% as well. Bummer.........we knew it was coming, but was hoping they would keep a somewhat competitive rate. 

1
Comment #25 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Logged on tonight (Wed after close) to see my account (step up CD). Darby RETROATIVELY took away interest. I screen-captured yesterday's screen (Tue after close) and tonight's (Wed after close) -- and I now have LESS interest listed than I did yesterday. This goes against what 3 different FDIC agents told me -- it seems Ameris has applied their rate cut retroactively, and according to the FDIC, the bank cannot do this. I'm going to talk to them about it tomorrow, and I might even file a formal complaint with the FDIC about it after the fact (I almost certainly will, because that kind of stuff where they just flagrantly flaunt the FDIC's guidelines really ****es me off). I may never see the money, but I'm going to be filing with the FDIC for my 5 days' of proper interest. And I suggest those who are also mad about it do the same. Of course I'm going to take every cent out of there ASAP. I'll have to call them tomorrow and work it out, though I may not be able to get the funds out until Friday because of work.

2
Comment #26 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
PS to my last post. In clicking on "Details" it says the new (.25%) rate is effective Wednesday the 16th. So it's only two days of interest they're cheating us out on (since apparently letters will go out on Thursday) -- Tuesday's and Wednesday. At least they credited the proper interest for Sat, Sun, and Monday. At any rate, I'm taking my money out of there Immediately, which is what I'm sure they want anyway.

1
Comment #27 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Thanks ChipsMoneyTips for putting the form on your website. Makes things a lot easier. Thanks.

1
Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Where are you all moving the money to? Any suggestions would be great. 

1
Comment #29 by Julio (anonymous) posted on
Julio
Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Why are we being charged a $15 transfer fee?  Can't we just PULL the funds out of the savings account once they close the CD's and move the funds there?  I have external accounts linked to the Darby savings account and have pulled funds out in the past.

1
Comment #30 by Julio (anonymous) posted on
Julio
Sorry about the above post.  I pasted from Word and it came out like that and I don't know how to delete it.  Oh well..  I will post again here.

 

Why are we being charged a $15 transfer fee?  Can't we just PULL the funds out of the savings account once they close the CD's and move the funds there?  I have external accounts linked to the Darby savings account and have pulled funds out in the past.

1
Comment #31 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
A couple things, folks. First, I closed all my accounts at Darby today, and moved funds elsewhere. Seeing not 1.5% or 2%, but Ameris change their rate to 0.25% was a slap-in-the-face insult, as Banking Guy alluded to in another thread (according to the FDIC, they can't force lower rates than they're giving current customers). I wasn't going to wait around though. Get your money out now. It's just sitting there earning practically nothing the longer you keep it in.

I once again have to say, what a stellar job the ex-Darby CSRs have done over the past day or so. I was working with two of them in particular, and I've never seen such professionalism. When I was done, I called them back and asked them if they know if they'll still have jobs -- and sadly, I was told "probably not" -- the CSRs at the main call center just had a meeting where basically they were told they'd soon all be let go. (The Darby branches will remain, but not the old Darby Call Center). These folks were professional and curteous through and through. There weren't that many of them there, and over the last year or so I wound up speaking to them many times,each time impressed. I really am sad to see this happen.

Well, for all the people who had the Step Up CD, we got just a bit over 3 mohths of the 4% (93 days, through Monday -- starting Tuesday, the rate dropped to 0.25%). I'm still glad I banked there. No regrets.

Just to answer a couple comments, the wire fee is $15 per wire. It's usually $20 (that's not high, that's what most banks charge for outgoing wires) but they lowered it to $15 per wire becuase of the takeover. You can do ACH (instead of a wire) for free if you set it up (or have it already set up) but just remember ACH has a daily limit of $10,000 -- so if you have more than that, it may not be worth it to you to have it sitting there as you ACH it one day at a time's worth -- and also ACH is slower where wires are usually credited within an hour or two at the receiving bank. But yes, if you want to save the $15 fee you could ACH instead, I guess.

As far as where I'm putting my money, I managed to get another Add-On CD at another bank that is around 3% for 5 years. So I'm putting my funds there. I looked around, but can't find anything better even though I"m not crazy that it'll be "stuck" at that rate until almost 2016. The rate has since fallen though. My best suggestion is to just look at all the options here on depositaccounts. If you don't mind flying into other places (if the bank will have out-of-towners) then reset the search function for "local" and "any" and you'll see the best deals everywhere in the country (if not, you'll want the default "national" setting, which will show the best ones available to anyone nationwide). Unfortunately right now rates are in the toilet, and it doesn't look to be going up anytime soon. I'm guessing 2 years from now things will start looking better, but it's my guess that at least for the forseeable future rates will remain pretty low.

One last thought: we're all going to be getting the letters, I guess. I'm just curious if we all get the same ones. Maybe have the first couple people post what the letters say here, and if anyone got a different one, let us know (it'd be interesting to see if, for instance, they give better terms to certain customers who, for instance, might live in Georgia, or might have had more or less money in their accounts, etc).

Anyway, I guess that ends this chapter. Many thanks go out to Banking Guy for this website, and alerting us to Darby in the first place (and to anyone who alerted Banking Guy about it). And kudos to the great Darby staff -- many of whom will now unfortunately be unemployed. And to "0.25%", "2-days retroactive 0.25%", "Darby CSRs, you're going to be let go" Ameris bank: I hope the door hits you as we all leave.

3
Comment #32 by Julio (anonymous) posted on
Julio
SaveGuy99,  Thanks for the feedback.

In the past I have been able to get around the 10k limit by initiating the transfer at my external bank and PULL the funds out of the account as opposed to PUSHING the funds from Darby and that is what I intend to do.  I just emailed the forms to have my CD's transferred to my savings and hopefully can initiate the PULL today or Monday.

1
Comment #33 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Julio,

Yes, you are correct. If you initiate the ACH FROM your other bank, you don't have the $10k limit (assuming your other bank doesn't have a limit).

1
Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
using another institution to pull funds out from the darby account is not difficult but i'm not sure how to PUSH funds out from darby-direct. online, it appears that darby-direct.com only allows one to transfer FROM other institutions into the darby account and NOT transfer TO other institutions  anyone have any suggestions? thanks in advance!

1
Comment #35 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Has anyone received an official letter from Ameris yet? They were SUPPOSED to send them out on Thursday, but I haven't received anything yet...

1
Comment #36 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It appears that Ameris offers a 1.57% 12-month CD

1
Comment #37 by auraxr posted on
auraxr
To withdraw fund from darby, you need to click "Payments", then a new window will pop up. Under "transfer", click "single transfer", and then on the left panel, select your darby account then follow instructions to transfer money out ( assuming you have already set up an external account link)

1
Comment #38 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
when i try the above instructions with the intention of transfering TO another institution, the second window pops up as previously described, but the only option available is "transfer FROM" <outside institution> "TO darby"

1
Comment #39 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To #38:  Darby's system is a bit confusing.  If you funded your savings account by electronically moving money from an outside account, then you should have two accounts listed which say "primary account."  When you click on one it will be the Darby account and the other will be the outside account.  You would think you would then be able to choose the other account to move your money to but it does that automatically.  When you click "primary account" and the Darby account pops up, that means you are going to move money FROM that account into the "other" primary account.  Once you have done that, just click "next" and you will see that you are moving your money the way you want it to go.  Don't worry.  If you make a mistake on that first screen, you can still go back and fix it if you chose the wrong one.  I sent in the form to close my CD on Friday and to move it into my Darby savings account and it was done about three hours later.  I immediately initiated an ACH as I just described to move my money back to my home back and today that is complete as well.  I have no money left with Darby/Ameris and I only began the process on Friday so that is not bad at all and was very little trouble.  Good luck.

1
Comment #40 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I closed out my 11 accounts last week, but wanted to share that I received 11 letters from Ameris today. The odd thing is that it contained several pages (including a Depost Claim form) but do notice of changes to CD terms.

1
Comment #41 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I received my letters from Ameris today as well.  Mine did not have anything at all about the changes to the CD rates either.  I wonder how long they can legally prolong this before notifying people about the rate changes.  I cringe thinking about all of the people who do not check their accounts online regularly like we do.  They may go 2-3 weeks of getting 0.25% interest without even realizing it.  Like most of you, I had my money out of there even before the letters arrived.

1
Comment #42 by Dave (anonymous) posted on
Dave
I received two letters from Ameris today, both very similar. Had a 36-mo 4% CD and the savings account. 

One said all rates will stay the same.

One said CD rates are changed to 0.25% apy.

Guess they don't have their act together. Already closed my CD balance and transferred it to the savings account, where it could be ACH pulled from another bank. 

1
Comment #43 by kumhomike posted on
kumhomike
Just got my letter from Darby stating they would be honoring the rates on my existing cd. I too looked at my account on line and saw the rate changed to .25%. Unfortunatly I closed the cd already.

Guess the lesson is to talk with them and wait for official notification.

I am not in Georgia and not a long term customer, but the cd was rather large.

 

1
Comment #44 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Had 6 of the 3%-4%-5% 36 Month Step-Up CDs with Darby.  Closed all on Friday (Nov 19) after seeing early Wednesday (Nov. 17) evening (through their online banking) that both the Rate and APY on all 6 CDs had been retroactively changed to 0.25% on Tuesday (Nov. 16).

Will be pursuing both the "retroactively" and the "the assuming institution cannot pay a lower interest rate than what it offers to its existing depositors for similar accounts" issues with the FDIC, the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, and potentially the Georgia Attorney General's office.

Received 6 letters from Ameris on Monday (one for each of the 3%-4%-5% 36 Month Step-Up CDs).  All 6 letters had the same wording "Beginning November 16, 2010, your Step-Up Certificate of Deposit (CD), account number nnnnnnn, will reflect a rate of 0.25%."

Has anyone who has/had one or more Darby 3%-4%-5% 36 Month Step-Up CDs received a letter or letters stating that Ameris would be honoring the Darby rate on their 3%-4%-5% 36 Month Step-Up CD(s)?

Also, has anyone who has not yet closed out their Darby 3%-4%-5% 36 Month Step-Up CD(s) both (1)received a letter or letters stating that Ameris would be honoring the Darby rate AND (2) has their online account info currently showing a rate of 3.92% and APY of 4.00%?

 

2
Comment #45 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Anonymous #44 above: thank you for posting the information contained in the letter. I still have yet to receive mine. I called Ameris today to ask them about the 0.25% rate (even though I already closed out my 3/4/5 CD) and was told only that it is now 0.25% but that as far as them giving lower rates than their existing customers they don't "know anything about that" and I'd have to call individual branches. Please DO contact the FDIC, both about the retroactive interest, and the 0.25% rate. I'm sure only a small fraction of the people who have these CDs bother to read the forums here, and are being illegally fleeced without knowing it. And thank you for clearing up the fact that no, Darby *IS NOT* honoring their rates. We all saw it online, we all called and spoke to both ex-Darby as well as Ameris CSRs, and they all confirmed it's 0.25% now. Just a lot of us (myself included) haven't received the letters yet, so thank you for posting the information on them. Ameris is a terrible bank. Just look at their excuse for a website (no relavant information on it, such as rates) CSRs that can't help you with anything except a prepared script (admitting it themselves), and blatently illegal flaunting of FDIC rules and regulations. If there's one bank that I'd love to see go under, it's Ameris.

1
Comment #46 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Just a PS: It seems that there was some confusion with perhaps Ameris sending out conflicting letters, but the facts don't lie: everyone (to my knowledge) has had their 3/4/5 CD lowered to 0.25%. Is that not the case? (Check on line to verify, click on DETAILS if I remember right).

What could be causing the problem (other than Ameris being the terrible bank they are) is perhaps: (a) if people had different type of accounts (ie, savings as well as the 3/4/5 CD, or a "normal" CD as well as the 3/4/5 CD). Maybe some of the account types will keep the interest the same -- but it seems clear that the 3/4/5 CD is NOT staying the same, and is now 0.25%.  Or (b) maybe the dates are different? (or even times?) Check your letters carefully. Do they both have the same date (or perhaps a time stamp somewhere in small print?) Was one printed before the other? Regardless of the conflicting letters though, there shouldn't be any confusion that the rate got lowered to 0.25% on Tuesday. We all saw it online, I verified it with the amount of interest posted, it was verified by the ex-Darby reps when I spoke to them before closing out the account, and even after I had closed out the account last week, I called the Ameris CSRs to ask about it, and they confirmed (without me telling them my name or account number) that the 3/4/5 CDs have been lowered to 0.25%. The CSR even mentioned she was reading from a script they were given to answer questions about the subject. So there shouldn't be any confusion. The 3/4/5 StepUp CDs ARE 0.25%. Any conflicting letters are either Ameris being a terrible bank in not having their act together, or being a terrible bank in purposefully sending out false information in an attempt to hang on to money without having to pay interest on it.

1
Comment #47 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Sorry guys, but this info pertains to the Darby/Ameris issue. For those who didn't see it, this post (Anonymous) was in the recent "What to do when your bank fails" thread here on Depost Accounts. The post is not mine, I'm just re-posting it here because it concerns us as well.

----------

I got this from a typical FDIC contract for the assumption of insured deposits by with an assuming bank:

2.2 Interest on Deposit Liabilities. The Assuming Bank agrees that, from and after Bank Closing, it will accrue and pay interest on Deposit liabilities assumed …at a rate(s) it shall determine; provided, that for non-transaction Deposit liabilities such rate(s) shall not be less than the lowest rate offered by the Assuming Bank to its depositors for non-transaction deposit accounts. The Assuming Bank shall permit each depositor to withdraw, without penalty for early withdrawal, all or any portion of such depositor's Deposit, whether or not the Assuming Bank elects to pay interest in accordance with any deposit agreement formerly existing between the Failed Bank and such depositor… The Assuming Bank shall give notice to such depositors as provided in Section 5.3 of the rate(s) of interest which it has determined to pay and of such withdrawal rights.

 

The phrase "from and after Bank Closing, it will accrue and pay interest on Deposit liabilities assumed …at a rate(s) it shall determine" is clear; i.e. assuming banks can set whatever rates they wish. However, as a matter of law (not contract), once set, they can't retroactively change them. In light of this, I don't see how Western could apparently pull off a retroactive rate decrease.    Moreover, since Section 5.3 gives the banks 7 days to notify depositors of the prevailing rates, I also can't see how Western would have been able to wait as long as it did. There must have been something more to that.

-----------

 

1
Comment #48 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To SaverGuy99:  It is not just the step-up CD's that have been changed to 0.25%.  I had one "normal" 18 month CD with Darby which was paying 2.50%.  It was also dropped to the 0.25% rate.  So, if Ameris is using the excuse that the step-up CD's are not "normal" CD's and that is the reason they can drop the rate lower than what they currently offer, that excuse is a load of hooey.

1
Comment #49 by SaverGuy (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy
Intersting, Anonymouse #48. That shows anyone who had any doubt what kind of a sleazy bank Ameris is. They definitely need to be reported to the FDIC for flagrantly flaunting FDIC rules in paying new customers far less (even for "normal" CDs) than their own customers. Get your money out fast folks, and let the FDIC know.

1
Comment #50 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thank you SaverGuy.  I submitted my complaint to the FDIC online at https://www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp.  This was the text of my complaint:

------

Please describe below the nature of your complaint or inquiry.

I am writing because Ameris Bank retroactively reduced the interest on my certificate of deposit.

I had $231,195 in a 3 year Step Up CD issued by Darby Bank and Trust, which was paying me 4.0% interest.  On 11/12/2010, Darby Bank was closed by the FDIC and my account was transferred to Ameris Bank.

On 11/18/2010, Ameris Bank mailed me a letter stating that the interest rate on my CD had been reduced to 0.25% as of 11/16/2010.  The letter was dated and mailed on 11/18, even though the rate reduction occurred on 11/16.

I believe this is a violation of FDIC rules, which state that in the event of a bank failure, the acquiring bank must give advance notice to the customer -before- the rate is actually reduced.  According to http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnsum10/what_if_your_bank_fails.html

'The assuming institution also must notify you of any changes it intends to make in the interest rate or other terms of your account.'

This rule clearly implies that advance notice must be given, since it says 'changes it intends to make', not 'changes it has already made'.

------

What action by the financial institution or company would resolve this matter to your satisfaction?

Although I already withdrew my $231,195 on 11/18, I believe I should receive an extra $47.50.  This will compensate me for the 2 days of lost/reduced interest that I received on 11/16 and 11/17.

$231,195 * (0.04 - 0.0025) * (2 / 365) = $47.50

I still have a savings account at Ameris with $1.93 in it, so if Ameris would credit $47.50 into this account, that would resolve the matter to my satisfaction. 





 

2
Comment #51 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Anonymous #50: Very good. Please let me know if you hear anything back from the FDIC. I'd be very interested in getting my 2 days' worth of interest as well, though I closed out my Savings account as well. Maybe we should all send complaints to the FDIC about this...

 

1
Comment #52 by Danny 1 (anonymous) posted on
Danny 1
I got 19 letters from Ameris......disappointing as I had 16 Step Up CD's with them for around $2M (titled POD with various beneficiaries to comply with FDIC limits).

Obviously Ameris wants our money out of there...otherwise they would have just lowered the rate to 1.15% like on one of the my Darby online savings accounts (the other two were at 1%). What the heck, why lower to 0.25%....an insult.

Darby Bank employees were the best, friendliest, most helpful ever! They will be missed!

There was an earlier post where someone asked about why the govt was keeping interest rates so low. (1) Affordibility....so people and businesses can make payments on loans so the loans don't officially go into default (and people can refinance...this is an emergency action really) and (2) Force money to flow into riskier assets...instead of sitting in savings accounts. It's working....looks like I'll be dollar cost averaging another million into the stock market over the next 6-12 months. I use Vanguard ETF index funds...cheap and tax efficient for the long haul. VTI and VB for US market and VGK, VPL and VWO for international markets...the mix is up to you but I allocate 60/10/15/10/5 respectively for a very balanced long term portfolio....set it and forget it! LOL  My choices offer a bit more flexibility than just the two ETF strategy of US and worldwide minus US.

Let's see....my banks that have failed so far.... IndyMac, Countrywide, WaMu, Wachovia, Darby Bank...

1
Comment #53 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
I decided to fill out an on-line form about Ameris' illegal practices while taking over Darby, and just got a form letter back (online) from the FDIC. It seems that you have to contact a different department of theirs, so for those contacting the FDIC in this matter (or who might want to now), here's where you should contact -- the FDIC's DRR Department. There's a toll-free number for them. I probably won't have the time to call them for at least a couple days, so for those of you who do, please let me know what they say.

----------

Thank you for contacting the FDIC's Division of Supervision and Consumer
Protection.

The FDIC's Division of Resolutions and Receiverships (DRR) is
responsible for the information you are requesting. DRR has been copied
on this message, however, you will need to contact DRR at the number
listed below.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Division of Resolutions and Receiverships
Field Operations Branch
East Coast Temporary Satellite Office
7777 Baymeadows Way West
Jacksonville, FL 32256
CustomerServiceFDICJAX@fdic.gov
(877)834-8562
Hours of operation 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. EST

Sincerely,

1
Comment #54 by Ken (anonymous) posted on
Ken
Is there a minimum balance requirement or penalty in the saving account? I tried calling them to ask, but get nothing but the offer of voicemail.

 

1
Comment #55 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Ken: I don't remember anymore if there was a minimum for the savings account (I assume you mean the Darby online savings account), but I opened one up with $100, and just kept $100 in there, never doing anything else with it (until closing out the account) so I'm thinking Darby required $100 to open, but if that was the minimum or just the minimum to open, I don't remember. But of course all terms can change with Ameris, and I have no idea what Ameris' policy is. Seeing the kind of bank they've been in taking over Darby (and how there's no relavant info anywhere on their website) I wouldn't doubt that there are now lots of minimums and fees associated with such accounts... try leaving a voice mail and see... maybe they'll call you back

1
Comment #56 by Danny 1 (anonymous) posted on
Danny 1
I said:

"Obviously Ameris wants our money out of there...otherwise they would have just lowered the rate to 1.15% like on one of the my Darby online savings accounts (the other two were at 1%). What the heck, why lower to 0.25%....an insult."

 

Which I should expand upon. One of my online savings accounts stayed at 1.15% and the other two stayed at 1% after being assumed by Ameris. So, why did they lower the Step Up CD to 0.25% when they are paying savings accounts at 1% and 1.15%, why not lower to 1% or 1.15%??? Apparently they don't want the money???

1
Comment #57 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hi, this is Anonymous #50 again.  I received a written reply (form letter) from the FDIC today, which basically said they forwarded my complaint to the DRR (Division of Resolutions and Receiverships), same as SaverGuy99.  I'll update if I hear anything more, but it may take up to 60 days.

For folks who are still wondering where to put their money, if you live or work in the Greater Boston area, Industrial Credit Union (icu.org) is offering a 3 month (actually, 100 day) CD with a 3.0% APY.  If you click the "100 Year Member Benefit Program - Learn More" button at the bottom right of their home page, there are more details.  It's NCUA insured (the equivalent of FDIC for credit unions), and the deadline for opening a CD is Dec 31, 2010.  You can get the 3.0% rate for deposits in excess of $100K if you open multiple CD's with different POD beneficiary designations.  I applied in-branch after calling, and the account opening process was easy.

1
Comment #58 by SaverGuy99 (anonymous) posted on
SaverGuy99
Thanks Anonymous #57, for continuing with the FDIC thing. I let it slide because I just got too busy with other stuff -- but I'd be real interested in finding out if the FDIC does something about Ameris' flaunting of the FDIC's guidelines or not. I'll have to remember to look back here in a month or two and see. Thanks!

1
Comment #59 by Derek (anonymous) posted on
Derek
does anyone have any updates on responses from FDIC's Division of Resolutions and Receiverships (DRR)

 

1
Comment #60 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It's been a month or so and I've pulled everything out except for $1 solely for the long shot that Ameris will play fair.  Has anyone gotten a significant response from either Ameris or the FDIC yet?

1
Comment #61 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is Anonymous #50/57 again - I got my reply back from the FDIC, which unfortunately was unhelpful.  Here is the last paragraph of their response:

The CD you held at the failed Darby Bank accrued interest at the contractual rate on your account through the date of closing.  However, after that date, your new bank had the right by law to reduce the interest rate upon notification.  The assuming institution had properly notified you of the reduction it has made to the interest rate as you stated ... We are sorry, but by law we cannot compensate you for any additional interest.

I feel I was pretty clear in my complaint (in post #50) that my rate was cut on Nov 16 and my notification letter was dated Nov 18, and that I was not properly notified in advance.  The FDIC specialist handling my case either misunderstood this, or understood it but felt that what Ameris did was legal.

The letter said I could contact the Division of Resolutions and Receivership in Jacksonville with questions, but failed to include a phone number (although SaverGuy posted it in #53 above).  I probably will just withdraw my $1 from Ameris - I don't think the FDIC is going to give us any help.

1
Comment #62 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
If anyone is still reading this (Anonymous 50/57/61)... if it were me, I'd leave the $1 inside the account just to make Ameris have to pay to upkeep the account (ie, send out statements, have you still on their books, have to pay to send you out their form letters like privacy policies, etc every once in a while, etc). Esp if you can keep the account open with just $1, that's what I'd do. Make them spend way over a $1 to keep your last $1...

 

1
Comment #63 by derek (anonymous) posted on
derek
yes, I'm still reading this thread.  Can someone point me, chapter and verse, to the fdic rule regarding pre-notification of depositors in takeovers such as this.  thanks.

1
Comment #64 by AtlantaWolf posted on
AtlantaWolf
Derek: Unfortunately there is no prenotification. From the FDIC website http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/darbybank.html

On Friday, November 12, 2010, Darby Bank & Trust Co., Vidalia, GA was closed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. No advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed.

1
Comment #65 by derek (anonymous) posted on
derek
to atlantawolf:

thanks for your reply [#64].  unfortunately I did not word my query #63 correctly, I left out the words 'interest rate'.

by pre-notification, what I meant to ask was regarding a topic often discussed on this forum, namely: the date of notification of interest rate change relative to the effective date of the interest change, especially when the gap between the two is much greater than a week.  I've seen many comments here that, as one might reasonably expect, the effective date cannot be earlier than the notification date [not retroactive, hence the 'pre-' in my post],  but despite much searching, I've not been able to locate the actual reg in the fdic.gov website.  I hope someone can point me to that reg, as opposed to a non-gov reference or opinion.

1