There’s a new internet bank: WauBank, which is the online division of Pennsylvania-based First National Bank. The initial product line includes a High-Yield Savings Account and six CD Specials.
High-Yield Savings Account
The High-Yield Savings account earns 2.20% APY on balances of $5k and above; balances of less than $5k earn 0.50% APY. According to the fine print on WauBank’s home page,
If your average daily collected balance drops below $5,000.00 in your WauBank High-Yield Savings account you will not receive the APY of 2.20% on your WauBank High-Yield Savings account. The current interest rate for any average daily collected balance below $5,000 is 0.50% APY.
WauBank is currently offering six CD Specials, both short- and long-term, with non-standard term lengths. Of the six, the 13- and 61-month CD Specials are the most competitive. All of the CD Specials require a $5k minimum opening deposit, with a $500k balance cap.
While the CD Special disclosures appear in the fine print on the landing page, they’re a bit light on details. For example, knowing that “A penalty may be imposed for early withdrawals” isn’t that helpful; knowing the specifics of making an early withdrawal is useful information.
According to CSR, the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) for any CD Special is a flat fee of $25 and a percentage of the amount being withdrawn. CD Specials with terms of 12 months or less will be assessed the $25 fee + 1% of the amount being withdrawn. For terms greater than 12 months, the EWP will be $25 + 3% of the amount being withdrawn.
The following are from the FAQs:
Are there monthly fees?
None. WauBank charges no fees for opening your account and no monthly maintenance or service fees.
How do I fund my account?
Funding your account is simple. You can add funds with a debit or credit card or transfer funds directly from another financial institution. You can also transfer funds to and from other bank accounts that you own through online banking once your account is opened — or add funds by check using the remote deposit capture feature of our award-winning mobile app, FNB Direct.
How do I access my money?
We provide easy, 24/7 access to your funds through our secure online banking site. Once you sign up for FNB Online Banking, you can link your account(s) to other financial institutions to make transfers and use our award-winning mobile app, FNB Direct, to manage your account on the go.
What happens when my CD reaches maturity?
We will send you a notification when your CD reaches maturity, giving you the option to place another investment or collect your funds by check.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, WauBank in First National Bank’s new online division. Accounts can only be opened online and WauBank’s market area includes Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia. Interestingly, First National Bank’s market area is completely different: Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia, including three major metropolitan areas (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cleveland).
Opening a WauBank High-Yield Savings account and/or CD Special must be done online. When you click on the “Open an Account” button, don’t be surprised when you land on a page that asks if you’re a new or existing First National Bank customer; it's the right page. One of my colleagues commented that FNB is “treating WauBank like a separate internet bank, except that it doesn’t have its own domain. And the WauBank page is hidden from their (FNB) main site with no links.”
While “WauBank” might seem like an odd name, the Bank’s FAQs explains its origins:
A nod to our past with an eye toward the future, WauBank carries on the mission of William Waugh, one of the founders of First National Bank. The strength, stability and financial solutions Waugh and his co-founders established over 150 years ago continue today through a new online innovation called WauBank.
As the online division of First National Bank (FNB), WauBank operates under FNB’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history.
WauBank/First National Bank has an overall health grade of "A+" rating at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.68% (excellent) based on June 30, 2019 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $1.12 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 5.11%. Please refer to our financial overview of WauBank/First National Bank (FDIC Certificate # 7888) for more details.
Established in 1864, First National Bank was originally known as the First National Bank of Mercer County (western Pennsylvania, bordering on Ohio) for its first 128 years. Beginning with a re-brand to its current name in 1992, the Bank began 25 years of expansion that included the acquisitions of 19 banks in Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Today, First National Bank is the second largest bank headquartered in Pennsylvania and 53rd largest bank in the country, with assets in excess of $33.8 billion and more than 1.11 million customer accounts.
How the High-Yield Savings Compares
With such a disparate multi-state market area, there’s really no ideal comparison group for either the High-Yield Savings or CD Specials, so I’ve chosen to use nationally available products for the comparisons.
When compared to 233 Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide, WauBank’s High-Yield Savings APY currently ranks seventh, regardless of minimum balance requirement.
To look for the best Savings Accounts rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Savings Account Rates page.
How the CD Specials Compare
When compared to 219 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which require a minimum deposit of $5k or less and are available nationwide, WauBank’s 13-month CD Special APY currently ranks third. When compared only to other banks, it ranks first, tied with BrioDirect's 12-month CD.
When compared to the similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which require a minimum deposit of $5k or less and are available nationwide, WauBank’s 61-month CD Special APY currently ranks eighth. When compared only to other banks, it ranks second, tied with First National Bank of America's 60-month CD.
Looking for the best CD rates, both nationwide and in your state? Please refer to our CD Rates Table page.
The above rates are accurate as of 9/28/2019.