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Genesee Regional Bank In Rochester Offering 2-Year CD At 1.63% APY, 4-Year At 2.11% APY, Available Nationally -- And Can Rise

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 3:12 PMGenesee Regional Bank
Genesee Regional Bank, in Rochester, NY, is offering a 24-month Variable CD at 1.63% APY. It is offering a 48-month Variable CD at 2.11% APY. These CDs are available nationally. They can be opened in branch of course, but also via mail, fax or secure e-mail. Funding can be via mailed check, ACH or wire. You can provide your identity documents that way too: driver's license, Social Security card, a utility bill or the like.

You can see the rates here.

As the CDs are named, the interest rates are variable. But under the current situation with the Fed holding its rate at 0% and mortgage rates at the lowest ever, there is pretty much no direction but up for these CDs. The rates are determined by the Prime Rate as published in the Wall Street Journal. The 24-month CD is set at 50% of that prime rate, and the 48-month CD is set at .65% of that prime rate. Bernanke has projected that the Fed rate will remain at 0 for the next two years. But if he gets surprised and raises the rates, these CDs will follow. The CD rate is reset each quarter, based on the prime rate.
The CDs will not automatically renew at maturity. They will simply become a non-interst bearing, liquid account, under the same account number. As such, a grace period is not a consideration. I believe there is a form to file to close that account, which you can file via mail, fax, or secure e-mail.

Interest is paid monthly, and statements come out quarterly.

There is pretty much no catch on these CDs. No other account is required (so nothing like a direct deposit required), nothing else required. 

If you want to open a checking account with it, they offer three kinds:

• Basic, with no minimum required but a $3 monthly fee no matter how much in it.

• Regular, with a $5 monthly fee unless you maintain at least $500 in it.

• NOW, with a $7 monthly fee, unless you maintain at least $1,000 in it.

Of the three, only the NOW account earns interest. The Basic checking offers only 8 free transactions a month, after which it is 50¢ each. The other two offer unlimited transactions.

The corporate headquarters location is at:

190 Linden Oaks Drive, Suite B
Rochester, NY 14625
(585) 249-1540

But I was referred to -- and would recommend -- their so-called Greece Branch, at:

2300 West Ridge Rd.
Rochester, NY 14626
(585) 663-8930

I dealt with an account service person at the Greece Branch named Katy Little. I would highly recommend her. She was clear, knowledgeable, efficient, provided very good and prompt service, and was very nice and pleasant -- you know, just what you are always looking for but can never find any place else. Katy says you may call her at the Greece Branch number, or you may e-mail her at:

Adding beneficiaries was simple, no catches as at some banks. Adding a power of attorney to the account also was simple, I was able to use my own form which I already have notarized.
me1004me1004373 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,597
1. Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 10:29 PM
Can you get the money out early?
loulou552 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,431
2. Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 10:51 AM
Early Withdrawal Penalty is listed as 6 months of interest. As in all other bank disclosures I have ever seen, they note:

"We may change any term of this agreement. Rules governing changes in interest rates have been provided. For other changes, we will give you reasonable notice in writing or by any other method permitted by law."

Of course, the change in interest rate it refers to on this account is part of the basic rules of this CD -- it is specifically a variable rate CD, locked to the prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal.

Contact Katy Little if you are interested.

I will note, what they write about changes here is pretty crystal clear and right there up front in the disclosures, unlike so many other banks that reserve that right with very vague language buried miles down or in other related documents. That is, at least this bank is clear and honest about it. And while I haven't read every bank's disclosures, I am of the impression they ALL reserve that right, even if you don't realize it when you read the very vague language in their disclosures.
me1004me1004373 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,597
3. Monday, March 5, 2012 - 8:41 AM
I was just in touch with Kate Little at Genesee about something. In an aside, she told me that she just heard they are planning to drop the rate on those CDs. She did not know just when that might happen or how much they would drop. 

But clearly, that drop is not due to interest generated by this post so far -- as could have been feared if they got a lot of interest from people. Kate said she had heard from only two people -- and that certainly would not cause a rate drop. The rate drop -- when it happens -- is unrelated to this post. But at least there is a heads up about it in advance -- although how much in advance remains to be seen. For now, it remains.

EDIT: I have just made a new post about the rate change. It starts on Tuesday, March 6. See the new post here.
me1004me1004373 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,597