First County Bank (FCB) has added two competitive versions of a 15-month CD: a High Yield CD (3.00% APY) and a No Penalty CD (2.60% APY). The minimum deposit for either CD is $1k of new money and, according to the fine print on the promotion page, “You may not deposit more than $250,000 per household into either CD.”
High Yield CD
The High Yield CD is fairly straightforward, with no unusual requirements or limitations. Simply deposit at least $1k of new money and then wait 15 months for the CD to mature. Interest is compounded and credited on a monthly basis. One thing to be aware of is the grace period – it’s only five calendar days.
As stated in the Certificate of Deposit Disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
If you withdraw any of the principal before the maturity date we may impose a penalty of the equivalent of six (6) months interest on the amount withdrawn at the rate being paid on the account.
No Penalty CD
The No Penalty CD also requires a minimum of $1k of new money to open and is capped at $250k. The No Penalty option does not apply to partial withdrawals: it’s all or nothing. The fine print on the promotion page explains it this way,
Partial withdrawals are prohibited. No withdrawals of any kind are permitted during the first six calendar days after receipt of initial deposit. After such period, a full withdrawal of funds may be made without penalty.
The No Penalty CD’s APY is substantially higher than the rates currently offered on any nationally available Savings or Money Market account, making it tempting to utilize the CD as a quasi-liquid account. Just remember that CD funds are not quite as liquid as those in a Savings/Money Market account. For example, it can take a few days to close a CD and receive the funds, while a check can be written on many Money Market accounts. The advantages of a higher rate need to be balanced with your personal need for true liquidity.
Thanks to DA member, TheBombingRange, for posting on these special CDs in the DA Forum.
First County Bank is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, with branches throughout Fairfield County. That being said, I'm not exactly sure what the market area for these two CDs is, based on different information obtained from several sources.
Here’s what some DA readers and I were told by different CSRs:
1. Individuals who live or work in Fairfield County qualify.
2. Anyone who lives or works in Connecticut qualifies, as long as they come into a branch.
3. Residents of western Connecticut qualify.
I think it’s safe to assume that anyone living near any of the 16 Connecticut branches, located in Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk (2), Stamford (9), and Westport, can apply. Current FCB customers can open a CD through the Bank’s online banking platform.
Note: the above link goes to FCB’s “Branch Hours, Locations, and Directions” page (rather than FCB’s DA page) for easy access to individual branch phone numbers. Given the variety of answers received as to the market area, it’s quite possible that Branch Managers have some discretion in deciding who can open a CD. A phone call to determine eligibility is certainly a better option than driving some distance only to be told you don’t qualify.
First County Bank has an overall health rating of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 6.67% (excellent), based on March 31, 2018 data. The Bank has an average capitalization level (9.12%), the result of holding $1.59 billion in assets with $144.49 million in equity. Please refer to our financial overview of First County Bank (FDIC Certificate # 18204) for more details.
First County Bank is currently Connecticut’s ninth largest bank, with assets in excess of $1.5 billion and more than 38,700 customer accounts. The Bank was first opened its doors in 1851 as the Stamford Savings Bank, with Hezekiah Satterlee opening the very first account with a $5 deposit (the equivalent of about $160 in 2018 dollars). The Bank did not change its name until 1989, following a market area expansion in other Fairfield County cities. The Bank celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2001 by establishing the First County Bank Foundation, which distributes “grants on a yearly basis to benefit local nonprofit organizations in Stamford and the surrounding communities.”
How the High Yield CD Compares
When compared to the 230 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com requiring a similar minimum and available within the Bank’s market area, First County Bank’s 15-month High Yield CD APY currently ranks second.
The above rates are accurate as of 7/29/2018.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.