New Internet Bank, PurePoint Financial, Debuts Top National Rate

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UPDATE 3/22/2017: Late last week PurePoint Financial raised its 12-month and 18-month CD rates by 5 bps to 1.45% APY. This post was originally published on 2/23/2017.

Deal Summary: 12-Month CD, 1.45% APY; $10k minimum deposit. Online Savings, 1.25% APY, $10k minimum.

Availability: Nationwide

When I have the occasion to write about a new bank, “new” usually means opened in the recent past; in the case of PurePoint Financial, “new” means yesterday, literally. PurePoint Financial is an online division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A. (Union Bank) which itself is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, a bank holding company which is the 5th largest financial group in the world with total assets of over $2.4 trillion.

PurePoint Financial currently lists two products on the homepage of its new website: a 12-month CD (1.45% APY, $10k minimum) and the Online Savings Account (1.25% APY, $10k minimum).

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.45%$10k-PurePoint Financial12 Month Online CD
1.25*%$10k-PurePoint FinancialOnline Savings
OTHER TIERS: 0.25% Up to $10k
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of March 27, 2017.

PurePoint Financial also offers a few longer term CDs, but currently the rates are not as competitive as the 12-month CD. A full list of these CDs is available at our PurePoint Financial rate table.

As stated in the CD Product Guide, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows,

The Early Withdrawal Penalty assessed will equal 181 days of
simple interest at the rate being paid on the amount withdrawn.

The website has a fairly comprehensive FAQs page that will be helpful to anyone interested in this new internet bank. A few of the salient points that are of interest to many DA readers are as follows:

Deposits made to your PurePoint Financial account will begin to accrue interest as soon as they post to your account. For electronic deposits, this is usually 2-3 bank business days after the transaction was initiated.
We offer individual, joint and personal trust accounts. PurePoint doesn’t currently offer business or brokerage accounts.
How many external linked accounts can I set up?
    You may link up to 10 external accounts per customer from other financial institutions to your PurePoint accounts.
What can I do at a Financial Center?
    Open saving accounts and CDs Update your personal information (such as home or mailing address), beneficiary details, and other information related to your account.

The last quote about Financial Centers is quite interesting, because PurePoint Financial represents a new model of internet banks, almost a hybrid between brick-and-mortar institutions and “pure” internet banks. The Financial Centers are not “bank branches,” and as such, do not accept cash deposits. Staff members just assist customers in opening accounts and answering questions. The intent appears to be to help those individuals who are worried or uncertain about internet banks by providing a tangible resource, i.e., a building filled with people who will interact with them face-to-face.

Currently, there are seven up-and-running Financial Centers located in Florida (Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa), Illinois (Skokie), and Texas (Dallas, Plano, Southlake). Twelve more Financial Centers are scheduled to open between March and June in Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas.

There were a couple pieces of important information I couldn’t find on the website, namely dollar amount limits on online fund transfers, and details about POD accounts. According to a very helpful CSR, there is a limit of $250k per transfer, and a $1 million limit per a rolling 30-day period, which applies to both incoming and outgoing transfers. CSR also stated that beneficiaries can be added, but only after the account is established. The owner of the account has to log into the online banking system to add the beneficiaries. PurePoint Financial does not require Social Security numbers for any beneficiaries.

Thanks to DA reader, jcb194, for posting about this new internet bank in the DA forum.

Availability

As an online division of Union Bank, PurePoint Financial is headquartered in New York City and offers its product line to all U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Opening an account with PurePoint Financial can be done online, by phone, or at any of the above mentioned Financial Centers.

Bank Overview

As the new online division of Union Bank, PurePoint Financial operates under Union Bank’s FDIC Certificate # 22826. Union Bank/PurePoint Financial has an overall health rating of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 5.44% (excellent), based on September 30, 2016 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $3.59 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 4.3%. Please refer to our financial overview of Union Bank/PurePoint Financial for more details.

We designed PurePoint™ Financial to empower our clients to save more. And while we're a new brand, we’re not new to banking. As a division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A., we share in the rich 150-year history of serving clients in the United States. Our global parent company, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), is the 5th largest financial group in the world with total assets of over $2.4 trillion.

How the CD Compares

When compared to the 204 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally, PurePoint Financial’s 12-Month CD APY currently ranks first

Interest RateCD Length of TermCredit Union/Bank
1.45% APY12-Month CDPurePoint Financial
1.45% APY12-Month Jumbo Share Certificate ($10k min)Andrews Federal Credit Union
1.42% APY12-Month CD SpecialConnexus Credit Union

To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates table, or our Rates Map page.

How the Online Savings Compares

When compared to the 208 nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, PurePoint Financial’s Online Savings APY clearly tops the list.

Interest RateAccount NameCredit Union/Bank
1.25% APYOnline Savings ($10k min)PurePoint Financial
1.15% APYHigh Rise Savings (no min)Popular Direct
1.12% APYUltimateSavings Promo ($10k min)Northpointe Bank

The above rates are accurate as of 2/23/2017.

To look for the best Savings Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Savings Account rates table, or our Rates Map page.

Comments
ChasR
ChasR   |     |   Comment #1
I'm happy to see Union Bank getting back to offering competitive CDs through PurePoint. I had my primary checking account there for many years, and opened both regular and IRA CDs when the bank conducted promotions. I've long since closed all accounts there, but maybe will have the opportunity to open new CDs through PurePoint.
I wonder why there will be no Financial Centers in California, where Union Bank has it headquarters and numerous branches.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Ugh. When balance is below $10k, only a 0.25% interest rate...
Sylvia
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #9
PrivateBank has an online savings account called “Palladian” that pays 1.30% guaranteed for 6 months. Minimum required to open is $1K. Max balance allowed is $500K. To get yield, you need to keep only $.01 in account. After 6 months, you can open a new account to get another 6 months guaranteed.
Bish
Bish   |     |   Comment #53
I looked at reviews for PB/"P"; they ask for more personal info than most, and have fees that make them not worthwhile.
Anony
Anony   |     |   Comment #10
Not a very good outcome, is it?
Sylvia
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #11
What's not a good outcome? The absence of an infinite guarantee?
Anon
Anon   |     |   Comment #3
It would have been nice if they could give you a 6 to 12 month guarantee on the online savings rate. For now I will stay put with the assorted liquid accounts I have. It is too much trouble moving the funds around to first move them there and then find they lower the rate to the point where I have to move the funds again.
chasinrates
chasinrates   |     |   Comment #4
According to an article in the Japanese press, they will keep the starting rate "for awhile" and plan to be aggressive about offering attractive rates. I realize that lacks any specificity, and a guarantee would indeed have been nice, but I'm going to take the plunge and give them a try.
Ann
Ann   |     |   Comment #7
Does anyone guarantee savings account interest rates anyway? I think they'd want you to buy a CD if you want a guaranteed rate.
aaa
aaa   |     |   Comment #55
NorthPointe bank offered a 1-year guaranteed 1.12% on liquid savings last fall. I started an account there "just in case".
Anon2
Anon2   |     |   Comment #5
The FAQ re "instant verification" says: "Your privacy and security are extremely important to us, so we protect your login credentials using 128-bit level encryption. Your external bank’s log in information is only used once to verify that you own the account. PurePoint will never use this information again."

Based on this response it sounds like they only use this method to add external banks. I prefer to use the "verify via two small ACH deposits" method my other online banks use. I do not want to share my financial account log in info for external banks with any third party. This is disappointing, as I was really excited about the new savings rate (even with the understanding that it may be a promotional rate and subject to change).
Ann
Ann   |     |   Comment #6
Well, that is the only way 'instant verification' could be done, so it's possible (and likely) they have other non-instant methods available, but they wouldn't be directly relevant to that answer. There are many institutions not compatible with the login verification method.
LuvCD
LuvCD   |     |   Comment #8
Change the login later
Anon2
Anon2   |     |   Comment #12
Could someone going through the online account opening process report back as to whether they offer the option of using a non-instant external bank verification method?
Joh
Joh   |     |   Comment #13
They offer a trial deposit login as well
Anon2
Anon2   |     |   Comment #14
Thanks for the report!
chasinrates
chasinrates   |     |   Comment #23
2 options: instant verification or 2 trial deposits.
LMS
LMS   |     |   Comment #15
Would the following statement on the pure point web site, raise a red flag?
1 FDIC insurance up to the maximum allowed by law. PurePoint Financial and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. are treated as the same entity for the purposes of calculating FDIC insurance limits and deposits.
Additionally, I cant find them on the FDIC site.
Bogey
Bogey   |     |   Comment #16
Why should it raise a flag? PurePoint Financial is a new division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A. It's rather nice of them to caution people about the maximum FDIC coverage. The division is still part of the original financial institution.
James Barnes
James Barnes   |     |   Comment #17
I had trouble opening a Palladian savings account. What was your experience?
Anon2
Anon2   |     |   Comment #18
If you search "MUFG Union Bank" on the FDIC bank search tool, you'll find it. #22826.
rav
rav   |     |   Comment #19
Has anyone verified that PurePoint is actually a legitimate division of MUFG Union?

I tried the FDIC (only lists http://www.unionbankmoneyport.com, http://www.smartstreet.org, http://www.mystreetscape.com/my/ubis, and http://www.mufgamericas.com), the OCC, and the CFPB, and none of them could find any information about PurePoint being a valid banking division or subsidiary of MUFG Union. I also tried phoning MUFG Union customer service, and both the representative and the supervisor said that PurePoint was NOT a division of MUFG Union. I now have a call into the "Office of the President" of MUFG Union, but I'm fairly confident they will not phone me back.
Anon2
Anon2   |     |   Comment #20
The parent MUFG website's "Newsroom" page has the press release for PurePoint: https://www.mufgamericas.com/newsroom
rav
rav   |     |   Comment #21
Thanks! That's the sort of confirmation I wanted to see. Any fake site could publish info about being a subsidiary of a legitimate bank and reference their FDIC number, so couldn't be sure until some info about PurePoint from MUFG Union.
???
???   |     |   Comment #22
Still, it looks like a I hope we make it bank considering the Head bankers Bio
BigM
BigM   |     |   Comment #25
What about the Head bankers Bio?
rav
rav   |     |   Comment #28
I had an impressive experience with MUFG Union. A representative from their Office of the President did phone me back and confirm PurePoint is a new bank of theirs.
chasinrates
chasinrates   |     |   Comment #24
Nikkei Asian Review article link: http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Mitsubishi-UFJ-expands-in-US-with-online-banking

It's a bit refreshing to read about a bank wanting US dollar deposits.
rav
rav   |     |   Comment #26
And an article on Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-24/a-japanese-fix-for-american-savings-1-25-percent-interest
that includes the statement: "Its president, Pierre Habis, says it will have "consistent top-of-the-market" interest rates, not just teaser rates for a limited period."
Jack
Jack   |     |   Comment #27
Anyone know if there is an early closure fee on the savings account (in case rates drop)? Or any minimum balance requirements?
unmesh
unmesh   |     |   Comment #29
I am impressed how quickly I was able to open and fund my account using an external account that they supported for instant verification. I was also able to add beneficiaries online.

Unfortunately mint.com does not support them yet.
rhutnik
rhutnik   |     |   Comment #30
How long did this take? Do they support Ally Bank/Chase Bank for instant verification?
zz
zz   |     |   Comment #31
I signed up on Friday, got an account, added Ally Bank via instant verification and transferred money in and they immediately showed the full balance. Ally showed the money withdrawn on Monday. It's now Wednesday night and Purepoint still does not show the money available, so at least a 3 day hold. I think I read that they don't start paying interest until the end of the hold. If that's the case, their hold may be much more than 3 days.
zz
zz   |     |   Comment #32
The money became available this morning on Thursday.
Kaight
Kaight   |     |   Comment #33
OK zz, if I understand right you did an ACH pull. You ordered PurePoint to PULL your funds out of Ally. This places liability on PurePoint if there is a problem. Liability is always borne by the financial institution where the ACH is originated. So PurePoint held the funds based on this, as insurance.

My take is best way to move funds to a PurePoint account is by doing an ACH PUSH, not a pull. This requires the ACH transfer be initiated outside PurePoint. When funds are pushed to PurePoint, I'm betting those funds are available immediately upon receipt, and commence earning interest when credited.
zz
zz   |     |   Comment #34
If the PUSH account also does instant verification. Ally does allow that for some accounts but for most I've had to do the trial deposits and wait 2 days.
Kaight
Kaight   |     |   Comment #35
Fair enough, zz. I would never opt for instant verification myself, but I respect your different opinion. Nobody, and no outside entity, gets my account login details at any financial institution where I have an account . . not ever for any reason. But that's just my "belt and suspenders" approach to account security. I realize others will have different opinions, and that is OK.
zz
zz   |     |   Comment #36
I applaud your open mindedness to others opinions ... I think it is something sorely missing in this country right ... on both sides of the aisle. You've also made me really think about what I was doing and though I might do it again for something quick, I'd opt for the trial verification as default in the future ... thought I'm changing my passwords now as I type this.
hermwe
hermwe   |     |   Comment #37
I was going to open two CD's, one joint and one individual, at Pure Point after seeing an Ad in the Chicago Tribune. I tried opening online with great difficulty. I went to the Pure Point office in Skokie, IL and was assisted by a very nice lady. She had some difficulty with the process and told me I the the first client for her. Eventually, two accounts were opened. I had some concern about putting money in a so new institution, I returned to the Pure Point office with my check books from the bank I was going to withdawn the moneys from. I was told to make the checks payable to myself, Red flags started wave! I asked why the checks were not going to be made out to Pure Point Bank. I was told, because the money is going into your account and there would no mix up as to where the money should go. I said if I make out the checks to myself and sign them, then anyone can cash them. I said have deposited money into a large number of banks and always made out the checks to the bank they were to be deposited into.
I felt very uncomfortable about this and did not write the checks.
I received a call while I was writing this and was told that I could write the checks to Pure Point,
which I was told at the office I could not, I will have to think about this!
rav
rav   |     |   Comment #38
The default used to be to make checks payable to the bank where you are opening a new account. Over the past couple of decades, most financial institutions have switched to having you make checks payable to yourself. In theory, the former is more vulnerable to theft (anyone can legally deposit them, as they are made out to the bank, not an individual). Checks payable to your name can theoretically only be deposited into accounts with your name on the title, and thus are thought more secure.

Of course, checks can be easily washed and rewritten with nearly all inks (Uniball 207 pens have ink that doesn't come off with acetone, so I use them to help prevent checkwashing).
LuvCD
LuvCD   |     |   Comment #39
They like the float in having checks NOT made payable (hold period) to the bank and endorser liability if to them
hermwe
hermwe   |     |   Comment #43
Two days later I was going to go back to Pure Point and fund the accounts with checks made out to Pure Point Bank. I got another call early in the morning from Pure Point, asking about my accounts. I stated that I had gotten a call from Pure Point later on the day I left the Bank. I was told that I could write the checks to Pure Point Bank. The woman who called asked if I could wait a minute or two while she checked with her supervisor. I said okay. She came back and said no, I would have to write the checks to myself so that they would know where the money should go. Following this line of thought, if I wrote two checks, how would they know which accounts the funds should go into? I thought the money might wind up in the First National Bank of Nigeria. At best, even if this was legit, I thought there was a high degree of incompetence.
I told the woman to close the accounts. I was getting bad vibes.
Bogey
Bogey   |     |   Comment #44
I would consider it more of a "red flag" if a financial institution insisted my check for deposit must be written out payable to that particular bank or CU.

When making deposits for new or existing accounts, I always make them out payable to myself. Witten with "For Deposit Only" on the back. Don't know if that makes a difference or not. But writing a check payable to a bank can be taken as a payment to the bank for any purpose and not credited to the account for which it was intended. Why take a chance and go through the aggravation?
LuvCD
LuvCD   |     |   Comment #45
If payable to the bank...they have endorser liability even IF cashed not by the bank but others (since the bank will have to endorse it eventually if made payable to them) If to you, you will have to prove (if that is the case) the endorser is really not you,i.e a fraud. You are out of the loop as long as bank endorses. But "for deposit only" is what I usually do for all other check deposits...with the account no. identified.
Bish
Bish   |     |   Comment #54
My thought was to (also) write in the notes section on the front of your check, detailing the opening of the account.
maybe invester
maybe invester   |     |   Comment #56
how do you feel about CD rates and pure point now,
midas89
midas89   |     |   Comment #40
I usually do not rate chase for just 0.25% but decided to do so this time because I heard the set up for the savings account is so easy and fast. Plus with the Fed expected to raise rates shortly, however small the hike, I am praying PurePoint will keep the 1.25% rate the minimum for a long time.

PurePoint uses a verification service called Early Warning Services, LLC (out of Scottsdale, AZ). If EWS doesn't flag your stated home address as a mailbox rental place or fake address, and if they do not flag your name and SS as not matching or being high risk, you'll be instantly approved for the PP account.

PP does not yet have mobile banking, but they do allow deposits made using the camera in your tablet or smartphone by accessing their Website from your device's Web browser. I tested it, and it works well.

I like that their Online access allows easy input of beneficiaries. Also, they have an Alerts service easy to set.
LuvCD
LuvCD   |     |   Comment #41
Midas89: Are you affiliated with PurePoint?
midas89
midas89   |     |   Comment #42
Hi LuvCD,

I am in no way affiliated with PurePoint. (I am a very long time reader and fan of Deposit Accounts, even when in the "old days" it was a blog on Blogspot. I used to post quite a while ago as user name O-Qua Tangin Wann.)
Guest
Guest   |     |   Comment #46
..that was the good days when Ken had no advertisements or affiliated links.
LuvCD
LuvCD   |     |   Comment #48
Thanks, 89
Guest
Guest   |     |   Comment #47
Has anyone tried withdrawing money from Purepoint to their outside checking account? How fast does it withdrawal the amount, and how fast did the balance show up on their external checking?
midas89
midas89   |     |   Comment #49
I did a withdrawal from PurePoint Savings to Alliant Checking. The deposit was credited at Alliant the very next business day.

On a different subject: As everyone knows, PurePoint puts a 4-business-day hold on all incoming ACH money, no matter the amount. (Yes, interest starts to accrue right away, which is good.) Alliant and others do not put such a long hold on incoming ACH money. But of course, to PurePoint's credit, they allow you to ACH in or out $250,000 daily limit of your available balance ($1,000,000 total limit per month), while Alliant only let's you ACH out a $25,000 daily limit, which is quite disappointing to me.
Kaight
Kaight   |     |   Comment #50
I'm unable to confirm your assertion. Funds I sent via ACH into my PurePoint account from Alliant, which I dispatched yesterday there, arrived this morning and are showing as available for withdrawal. This availability for withdrawal was instantaneous. It coincided with arrival of the funds at PurePoint.

You are probably correct that PurePoint holds incoming funds when the ACH is initiated at PurePoint. I would never do that, and people who do are welcome to suffer such unnecessary and unwelcome holds.
midas89
midas89   |     |   Comment #51
Hi Kaight,

I am sorry I was not more specific above. What I should have added is that the 4-day-business hold applies to ACH money pulled into PurePoint when you go into PurePoint Online to make it happen.

If you go to Alliant and push money via ACH from Alliant to PurePoint, PurePoint makes that money available right away once received. Again, sorry I was not ultra specific when I typed my comment above.
Kaight
Kaight   |     |   Comment #52
Understood. Point of initiation is everything with ACH. This is a key reason Alliant is so popular as an ACH originator. When some other financial institution is instead chosen to originate the ACH, rules are oftentimes more punitive.