As I was reviewing old promotions looking for those that may still be available, I came across HomeStreet Bank which is still offering a checking account bonus of up to $300. It's also still offering a $50 refer-a-friend bonus. I last reviewed this promotion two years ago. The promotion details continue to be the same, and the bank still has a free checking account that qualifies for the promotion.
One thing that has changed in the last two years is the financial health of the bank. Two years ago it had a 2-star rating (out of 5) at DepositAccounts.com with a Texas ratio of 180.87% (anything over 100% is considered at-risk). It was also operating under a FDIC Cease and Desist order.
As I warned in my 2010 post, if a bank fails before the bank credits a bonus, you may be out of luck. The FDIC doesn't cover sign-up bonuses. There was an example of this in 2007 with NetBank which failed and was acquired by ING DIRECT. Readers reported that ING DIRECT did not honor NetBank bonuses.
If you had avoided HomeStreet Bank in the past due to its poor financial health, that's no longer a reason today. Its financial health is much stronger with a 4-star rating (out of 5) at DepositAccounts.com and a respectable Texas ratio of 19.61%.
This Seattle Business Magazine article describes how things have changed at HomeStreet Bank. According to the article:
HomeStreet returned to profitability in 2011, and net income for the third quarter of 2012 ($21.3 million, $2.90 per share) far exceeded analysts’ expectations. The problem loan portfolio looks considerably cleaner.
Best of all, in March of this year, HomeStreet announced that regulators had ended the cease-and-desist order, an acknowledgement that the bank was well on the way to full health.
HomeStreet Bank branches are located in Washington, Oregon and Hawaii. When it was operating under a C&D order, it wasn't allowed to add branches. Now that is over, the bank is expanding with new branches.
Reviewing the Financial Health of a Bank or Credit Union
To review the financial health of any bank or credit union, please refer to our Bank Health Ratings page. You can search for the financial health details for any bank and credit union. You can also view Texas ratios of banks and credit unions in a table at the bottom of the page.
Our financial health ratings are based on quarterly call reports issued by the FDIC and NCUA. The 2012 Q4 call reports should be coming out in the next couple of weeks. Once these are out, we can quickly update our ratings.