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Emigrant Bank Downgraded to 2 Stars


Emigrant Bank (the parent of EmigrantDirect) is now rated by Bankrate.com as only 2 out of 5 stars (below industry average). The bank use to have a 3-star rating. Here's what Bankrate states in its memorandum:
We have come to believe that, as of March 31, 2006, this institution exhibited a below average condition, characterized by lower than normal overall, sustainable profitability, questionable asset quality, below standard capitalization, and seemingly ample liquidity.

Perhaps this is the reason Emigrant hasn't been as aggressive on the savings rates as it was last year. A reader notified me of this change and was concerned. Emigrant still seems to be a strong bank, so I wouldn't worry too much. Plus it's FDIC insured. Refer to my facts on FDIC insurance for more information on FDIC protections.

I'm more concerned with the allegations that EmigrantDirect leaked customers' email addresses. Several people have reported receiving spam to their Emigrant-specific addresses. I've been noticing this spam also, but I use my email address for other things so I can't pinpoint it to Emigrant. Many people have created a unique address that was used only for EmigrantDirect. Some have suggested this might be due to spammers just mass mailing to random addresses or spammers picking up addresses as the messages are transmitted across the web. However, many people have reported this has only occurred with their Emigrant email and not others, so it still seems that the problem is with Emigrant.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
A while back I opened an account with them. Didnt like their user interface or the limited ACH, then their rates dropped and I got out. They quickly closed my account. Going on vibes the experience made me uncomfortable with them as a financial institution and would never place my money there again even if their rates soared.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I see that UFB Direct is now up to 4 stars - that is a huge upgrade for them. I have been happy with my account for a long time, it's great to see them getting some credit.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #3
I'm surprised to see UFB Direct's rating go up by so much. Thanks for the info.
awm129   |     |   Comment #4
This is disappointing. ED seems to have really fallen behind the competition over the past few months. First the website fiasco, then sluggish rates, and now this… I completed my HSBC application last night.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
When EmigrantDirect had their first top savings rates ahead of all others, I opened an account and mailed a personal check as was requested. After several weeks wait for a response I received a letter stating they could not accepted my personal check because the checking account was a Trust account. This was a "slap in the face", because the account is accepted by all. Never again will I waste my time on EmigrantDirect.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
All of you that have Emigrant Accounts beware: Their terms of service says they can keep your money for up to 30 days if they want to even after you close your account. If there is a mass migration away from ED you may be stuck in the wait queue.
latex_salesman   |     |   Comment #7
I like the baseball cap they sent me....
I still have $5.xx there but I am closing !
instoremarketer   |     |   Comment #8
Dang I'm glad I never signed up with them. Ouch!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
Chiken little anyone? The hysteria over a two star rating by BankRate.com is just that--hysteria.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
i've had no issues with them, deposits and withdrawals are quick... not too much to complain about... i would take my chances with this bank with over 100 years of history vs a smaller unknown.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
No problems at all.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
I've been with Emigrant Direct for over a year now and I have had NO problems whatsoever. Opening the account was easy and I've enjoyed the higher interest rates than what my local bank offered. I automatically have money transferred to my account every pay day and, once again, no issues. I don't care if the rating goes to -1 Stars, as long as my money is insured and I am earning over 5% interest I am happy.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
Anybody that still has an account with them been able to log in since their "upgrade" over the weekend? Yesterday 7/24/06 the site was off the net completely, and today 7/25/06 they have some bogus "Page unavailable due to extreme volume" on the welcome page. This new website has obviously been botched. They should at least own up and admit that and notify their customers when a site will be available.... Or they should put the old one back up!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
The site is back up and it looks better than ever.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
Well, its July 26th and I can't get online at all. I think after reading all the comments, Emigrant just can't consistently provide adequate service. With today's technology, thier poor user service is inexcusable. They must be cutting costs in the technology area in order to offer better rates. It's just not worth it. I will close my account as soon as they get back online if they get back online
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
I've had no luck getting into my Emg. Direct account after spending most of the day Tues 7/25 trying to access it, making five or six calls, going thru two fruitless resets of my access code, only to be told at last that computer doesn't reset until after five p.m. est. But after five, it didn't work either. I let it go yesterday. Today I called 800 number several times, always busy. When I attempt to log on w/ last access code provided me, I'm told to call the 800 number. Luckily, on Tues I requested by email to cust. serv. an ACH transfer of almost my entire emg.direct account to my savings account. And the money came thru.

So now my interest is mostly academic, having nothing much to lose.

Is Emigrant Bank publicly traded? I don't believe it is. But if it is, I'll short it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
I think everyone is slamming ED a bit too much for what I would call rather expected glitches after a major site upgrade. The site was down for several days, everyone flocked to make their transfers. Maybe they had a problem with a server... after an upgrade, that's acceptable to me. I'm not going to fret over that until it becomes a consistent problem. This isn't exactly an account where one should be expecting quick transfers anyway! I was able to log in yesterday without an issue. I like the changes. I've never had a problem in over a year with a transfer. They're FDIC insured. They still get 4 out 5 stars from me.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
More on the spam issue here.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
I am having no problem whatsoever with emigrant.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
I have been using them for about 6 months and have loved the rates and service. It does take a little longer then I would like when you transfer money out but they told me that up front.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
Security is definitely a concern to me. I'll keep my account open but will move some money somewhere else
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
I just followed the link over to BankRate and it looks like Emigrant is rated back up at 4 stars, as of September '06, in case anyone is interested.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #23
Thanks for the update.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24
I have had an online account at Emigrant Bank since early August of 2005. I live outside of New Orleans and have had devastating damage from Hurricane Katrina. 3 weeks after Katrina, Emigrant deposited $1000.00 in our account with a note attached that they were doing that to all of their bank customers affected by the storm. I have never had any problems with them in all of this time.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #25
Thanks for the info. That $1,000 gift was a nice gesture by Emigrant. I did a post on this in in 2005.

In the last few months I have noticed that their website is much faster than it was after their new website launch. I hope they can keep up the good work and perhaps come up with some new promo.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
I opened a Emigrant Bank account in January 07 to cover non-recurring predetermined expenses, such as car insurance, vacation, birthdays,, tax payments, etc. I make a preset deposit every two weeks based on my estimate of these annualized expenses from my regular bank’s savings account. I make as-needed transfers back to my regular bank’s account as these payments popup. I have never had any problem with any of these transactions and it’s an excellent way of paying off these expenses without severely straining my finances, and I make a few bucks interest to boot.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
Been using Emigrant for a year now just for savings. No problems, electronic statements and scheduled funding all works great. NEVER any trouble accessing account and no bogus e-mails.
long island disabled man
long island disabled man   |     |   Comment #28
i have a mortgage with them.i should never gotten it through them!they rip you off and find loopholes to charge more and more.now ther're  [calling]my loan back even though they have another account with money in it,enough to cover the loan payments for years.i think i'm going to go to the attorney general for new york state and my congressman.stay away from these crooks!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #29
I had a savings account in the seventies when there was sky high interest rates. They ripped me off then. This money was deposited from working as a paperboy.

I have a mortgage since 2007. Bad mistake. i had other banks since I had a high equity in my house. According to a lot of other borrowers, Emigrant structures its termas of the NOTE in precipitating a foreclosure. With recent rising rate of foreclosures this is a bad strategy since the number of Toxic assets goes higher, they did get TARP and they are the only bank that I was informed that has not paid the government back. Their counsel lied in court stating they did not receive TARP and therefore they do not have abide with the Obama plan.

Living on VA disability pay is not easy and falling two months behind but with the funds to catch up did not go well with Emigrant

Many borrowers are getting their houses foreclosed and paying interest @ 18 Percent daily leaves no avenue to cure a default.

Could say more but this bank is nasty and has no good business sense.