Over the weekend, Banesco USA added 25 bps to its 12-month BaneSmart CD (2.75% APY). (FYI - I’m not sure when “BaneSmart” was added to the CD name, but that’s how they are being marketed on the Bank’s website.) Opening a BaneSmart CD online requires a $1.5k minimum deposit, but can be opened in-branch with a $1k minimum deposit. While Banesco USA lists two deposit tiers (under $250k and over $250k), the APYs are currently the same for both tiers.
In the past year, the 12-month BaneSmart CD has gained 130 bps in eight rate increases. Of the five CDs offered by Banesco USA, the 12-month has the most competitive APY.
As stated in the Truth-in-Savings Act disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) reads as follows:
For an account with an original term of one (1) year (12 months), and up to 2 years
(24 months), the penalty will be ninety (90) days of interest on the amount withdrawn.
While the EWP is fairly consumer friendly, the following two limitations are definitely not.
Crediting frequency – Interest will be paid at maturity, added back to the Certificate of Deposit (CD).
Effect of Closing an Account – If you close your account before interest is credited, you will not receive the accrued interest.
Funding a new CD can be done through an ACH transfer from a checking or savings account at another institution. According to the first page of the online application,
Checking or Savings account information to fund your new CD.
Funds must be available at the time of account application.
According to the Client Care Representative (CCR), an ACH transfer back to the original funding account is available upon maturity. The BaneSmart CDs have a ten calendar day grace period.
Finally, there’s an oddly-worded sentence at the bottom of the BaneSmart CD landing page:
For terms greater than 12 months, the APY
cannot remain on deposit and payout is mandatory.
CCR and her supervisor both agreed that the sentence doesn’t make much sense, and were not exactly sure what it’s supposed to convey. (Perhaps a strange way of saying the APY is exclusive to the current term length and may be different in the future?) They both assured me that the information in the Truth-in-Savings Act disclosure is the final authority for BaneSmart CDs, and I should ignore that sentence.
Headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida, Banesco USA offers its product line to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens, 18 years or older, with a valid Social Security number. Each account signer is required to have a unique email address.
As stated on the first page of the online application, “we cannot offer to title accounts opened online in the name of a trust, however, the trust can be set up as a beneficiary.”
Banesco USA has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.63% (excellent) based on June 30, 2018 data. In the past year, Banesco USA has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $167.82 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 19.6%. Please refer to our financial overview of Banesco USA (FDIC Certificate # 57815) for more details.
Banesco USA is currently Florida’s 18th largest bank with assets in excess of $1.2 billion. In the past, there has been some confusion between Banesco USA and Banesco, a Venezuelan bank.
Banesco USA was founded and granted an FDIC Certificate in 2006 and originally operated as BBU Bank. According to a PR Newswire article, the Bank was re-branded as Banesco USA in 2011,
after BBU Bank acquired and merged San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Banesco International Bank Corp. into its mainland U.S. domestic banking operations. The merger done last September gave BBU Bank an additional $16 million capital infusion and a new branch in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
According to Wikipedia,
Banesco is one of the first Venezuelan banks holding only Venezuelan capital. It was founded in 1977 as the Banco Agroindustrial Venezolano (Venezuelan Agroindustrial Bank), until it changed its name to Banco Financiero (Financial Bank) in 1987. In 1992, after changing their name to Bancentro, the bank was acquired by the Banesco Financial Organization, the banking division came to dominate the company and was combined with the other divisions to form a banco universal (universal bank).
The Disclosure document attached to Banesco USA's online application states,
Banesco USA is a Florida state chartered bank regulated by the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) and completely independent of Banesco in other countries.
Bottom line, Banesco USA and Banesco (Velezuelan) are not the same financial institution.
How the BaneSmart CD Compares
When compared to 201 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationwide, Banesco USA’s 12-month BaneSmart CD APY currently shares the top spot with Fort Knox Federal Credit Union’s 14-month CD Special.
The above rates are accurate as of 10/22/2018.
To search for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.