Security Pacific Bank has some competitive deals on savings accounts and CDs. Its Smarter Savings account has a 3.50% APY for a minimum balance of $1,000. The minimum balance to avoid a $5 monthly fee is also $1,000. The bank also has a competitive 12-month CD rate of 4.25% APY. The minimum deposit is $1,000.
A reader mentioned being told by the bank that they require a branch visit to open accounts. Branches are located in Southern California cities of Los Angeles, Ontario and Seal Beach.
This is another California bank that has been hit hard by the mortgage mess. Its financial ratings are low: 0 star at BauerFinancial and 1 star at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 3/31/08 data. One intersting thing to note is the bank's press room page which describes how they had earned a 5-star rating from BauerFinancial for 22 consecutive quarters. I guess this is an example of how history doesn't mean much in a bank's current financial situation.
As I recommend with any bank, it's best to keep below the FDIC limits. Security Pacific Bank has been FDIC insured since 1981 (FDIC Certificate # 23595).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this savings account.