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GE Capital Retail Bank Changing Name to Synchrony Bank


Synchrony Bank

Update: The name change took effect on June 2, 2014.

GE Capital Retail Bank (GECRB) has been informing customers that it will soon be changing its name to Synchrony Bank. The only change of significance for customers will be new ATM cards and new checks with the bank’s new name. Most everything will remain the same including account features, FDIC charter, routing numbers and the website.

GECRB is the bank that used to be MetLife Bank. The transition of MetLife Bank deposit products and accounts to GECRB was completed in January 2013. At that time, the name "GE Capital Retail Bank" seemed to be reasonable. It was a little long, but that wasn’t much of an issue. An issue did arise in May 2013 when GE Capital Bank came online as another internet bank. We then had two "GE Capital" Banks which made things very confusing. They are two separate banks with separate FDIC charters. However, both are currently part of the General Electric Company. That will soon change.

GECRB’s parent which is part of GE Capital will soon be spun off from GE as a public company called Synchrony Financial. This was announced publicly when GE filed form S-1 with the SEC in March. As part of the IPO, GECRB will be renamed Synchrony Bank. In addition to the details of the IPO and the name change, the S-1 indicated something very interesting about the bank. Here’s an excerpt:

A key part of our liquidity plan and funding strategy is to expand our direct deposits base as a source of stable and diversified low cost funding.

Our direct deposits include a range of FDIC-insured deposit products, including certificates of deposit, IRAs, money market accounts and savings accounts, which we offer under our Optimizer+Plus brand. In January 2013, we acquired the deposit business of MetLife, which is a direct banking platform that had $6.4 billion in deposits at the time of the acquisition.

Brokered deposits are primarily from retail customers of large brokerage firms. We have relationships with eight brokers that offer our deposits through their network.

Following this offering, over the next several years we are seeking to increase our direct deposits. The growth of direct deposits will be supported by a significant investment in marketing and brand awareness.

This explains the competitive rates we have been seeing at GECRB this year, and it should increase the chance that the rates will remain competitive. Interest rates on its savings account, short-term CDs and long-term CDs have all been near the top over the last few months. Below is a table of some of its competitive rates:

Synchrony Bank2.30%$25k-60 Month CD
Learn MoreSponsored Note: Synchrony Bank was formerly GE Capital Retail Bank. FDIC Insured.
Synchrony Bank1.20%$2k-15 Month CD Special - BON12
Learn MoreSponsored Note: Synchrony Bank was formerly GE Capital Retail Bank. FDIC Insured.
Synchrony Bank0.95%--High Yield Savings
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of July 23, 2014

In April I reviewed GECRB’s long-term CDs and IRA CDs and in March I reviewed GECRB’s short-term CD specials. These long-term and short-term CDs are rate leaders.

In late February GECRB increased the rate of its High Yield Savings account from 0.90% to 0.95%. As I described in my GECRB savings account review, this rate applies to all balances. It has a $5 monthly service fee, but it only requires a minimum balance of $50 to avoid the fee. This savings account became competitive back in November when the bank raised the rate from 0.15% to 0.90%.

GECRB remains financially healthy. It has an overall health grade at of an A with a Texas ratio of 8.05% which is excellent (based on December 2013 data). The bank is still registered with the FDIC as GE Capital Retail Bank (FDIC Certificate # 27314). It has been a FDIC member since 1988. For more details, please refer to our financial overview of GE Capital Retail Bank (soon to be Synchrony Bank).

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Comment #1 by Beautiful Rich Person (anonymous) posted on
Beautiful Rich Person
"Sin" and "cronies" spring to mind. I could have brainstormed a better name in 5 minutes. They should call me next time.

Comment #3 by paoli2 posted on
Maybe they are really our dear Chase bank hiding under a different name.  Probably not since I think they actually have a 5 year CD for more than .25%!  I am considering trying them when my CDs mature soon but waiting to see what others say about them in the DA reviews.  Nothing is supposed to change about them except the name but one never knows.

Comment #18 by Just me (anonymous) posted on
Just me
"Sin" - "Cronies".....luv it. Perfect name change for a lousy bank. I need to pass this one on to my co-workers...the new name for the bank we use LOL

Comment #2 by DCGuy (anonymous) posted on
Ally Bank (formerly GMAC Bank) looks to be your friend (or ally) while Synchrony (formerly MetLife Bank) looks to be in harmony (in sync) with you.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Synchrony Bank.  A name that is not appropriate for a bank.  Difficult to spell.  Difficult to remember.  Not a familiar sounding name for a bank.  What were they thinking?Add your comment

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
You are correct. Terrible name for a bank. I wonder how much whomever ran the focus group for coming up with the name got paid.

Comment #11 by Bill (anonymous) posted on
I'm the one who told Ken about this name change for this website.  I just opened an account with them and saw this name change notice soon thereafter.  My feelings about the name are similar.  Not only difficult to spell or remember, but also doesn't flow off one's tongue easily.  Their executive in charge of name change should have his/her head examined.

Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
When I decided to get the new Paypal MasterCard the name of the bank was GE Capital Retail Bank FDIC (in May 2014).  Next thing I knew the name changed a month later.  My first impression of the new name was ?!*&???!.  Not only that, the land of India will be in charge of  our money...Oh, first it goes to Florida.  Guess what!!  I'm canceling that mess.  They don't accept payment over the phone unless you pay an extra $10.00 for the privilege of paying conveniently AND charge a late fee because they are in a different TIME ZONE!!!  The late fee is DOUBLE the original charge!!!  My lips are taught, my head is ****ed, and my eyes are at a dead stare.

Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
You are closer to the truth than you write, since India does have a bank called Synchrony Bank.  Look it up.

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Remove the Syn from Synchrony Bank and becomes chrony, much better name for the present administration.

Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
How much has this administration really affected you? Did they take your guns? Do you need a shoulder to cry on? 

Comment #15 by Barbara Nave posted on
Barbara Nave
Absolutely!  In Oct, 2013, I ended up w/an account at Amazon that I did not want.  I had thrown away the announcement I got.  When I wrote, they wrote back insisting that I logon, but I could not w/o the account # which I had told them I did not have.  In Jan, I received a letter that I owed them $68.25, so I gave up and sent them a check but 2 days after the check was sent, I received a letter stating that I only owed them $51 and change.  The $68.25 check cleared my bank.  Then, out of the blue, they sent me a check for $93 and change.  They have denied both these transactions and I continue to get bills every month w/an added late fee now totaling more than $180.  They have also put it on my credit report, which I have refuted.  I wrote the president of GERetailBank and received no reply.  Surely, there must be at least one sensible person in all the morons running this company, but I haven't found him/her.   

Barbara Nave


Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
I fear this will be the same scenario with my problem.  Presently, I'm checking to see if there is a Consumer lawsuits regarding upcoming banking practices.  Just getting started.  As I understand, each State has RCW laws that address practices regarding charges on credit cards.  Next step is Attorney General, BBB, and maybe an attorney that handles violations of this sort.  I'm sure we are not the only ones.
I tried paying my bill by phone last night and was told I'm late!  Since the person on the other end was from India it meant a different time zone and would not be able to complete transaction and would owe $28.00 rather than the original $14.00.  Go figure.  I guess the new system thinks all Americans are rich and can afford it.  Funny I have no problem with paying off my other credit cards at any time day or night.  It's extortion in this day and age.  Shouldn't be allowed in this society if we are supposed to be one big world.  Creeps me out!!! 

Comment #7 by Jason (anonymous) posted on
One of the very worst names for a bank that should ever come to anyones mind, at least for most reasonable people. With this kind of 'managemenr' decision, is it any wonder why we have been forced to bail  them and their ilk out? Horrible!

Comment #8 by Sandra posted on
Look on the bright side. With a strange name like that they might have to raise rates to attract deposits.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
When I first saw this bank's sign I almost drove off the road.

Comment #10 by Bill (anonymous) posted on
Ha!  I can see where your mind is....!  :-)

Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Synchrony overdrive transmission failure, my mechanic said somthing similar like that few months ago.

Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
If indeed they have a marketing strategy, you would never be convinced by the name selection.  The name chosen for any business is perhaps the most important step of marketing your product. GE failed miserably!

Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
In the last month, I have gotten letters from all my GECRB accounts either closing the accounts or lower the credit limits to what the balance is on each one. They said my credit score was lower than what it was when the accts were opened. I have never had a late payment and only one of my acct was even closed to being at its limit when all this occured.

Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
And, that credit card is now the one to use for all rental cars, etc. where a "cap" may be important if "they" want to have a charge back for whatever...confirm that no overcharging shall be made to the card!!!

Comment #27 by Anonymous posted on
I am feeling you.  They have already lowered 3 of my accounts and my score is higher than it was when I got the accounts.  We had just paid down all accounts to 50% or less of available credit and now it appears that I am at 95-98% usage because they lowered the limit.  Totally frustrated as my husband and I have been working on our scores for a year to get a mortgage.  I too have never been late and had just paid several of the accounts down to $10 balances.  All the answer I can get is that it was a management decision.

Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
No wonder they changed the name!
"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Justice are ordering GE Capital's retail finance business to pay $225 million in relief to consumers harmed by discriminatory practices and deceptive marketing."-USA Today

Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Saw this ....... and there is the real reason 

Comment #29 by fresh on Board (anonymous) posted on
fresh on Board
Great; keep following the fantastic Enterprise.  We got your back!  Come on!  Forward, March. 

Comment #30 by Robert K Pavlick posted on
Robert K Pavlick
The reason that they can pay better rates is because they are usurers !!!  They charge 24% on my PayPal  Smart Connect Credit Line while Amazon's Visa charges 14%. I complained to them and they said that 24% was the lowest rate they could offer. Needless to say, I don't use that credit line anymore.