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Online Savings Account and High Yield CDs at First National Community Bank in PA


Update 9/20/10: The rate has fallen to 0.90% APY

Update 1/20/10: The rate has fallen to 1.25% APY
Update 6/25/09: The rate has fallen to 1.75% APY
Update 4/07/09: The rate has fallen to 2.25% APY.

First National Community Bank is offering an online savings account called Maximum Earnings Online Savings Account. As of 3/05/09, its rate is 2.75% APY on all balances. Minimum initial deposit is $100. There are no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements.

There's an online application that's provided by Andera which allows electronic funding. The application makes it appear that people from any state can apply (see update 4/13/09 below). I called the bank, but I did not receive a definite answer. The CSR said that anyone could apply, but it may or may not be approved. She didn't know if the application process performed a hard credit inquiry.

Update: I just received a reply by email from the bank that states that accounts can be opened by anyone:

Anyone is welcome to use our online account opening process to apply for an account with FNCB.

In order to obtain the 3.00% Annual Percentage Yield with the Maximum Earnings CD, customers must have a Maximum Earnings Checking account in the same title. The ME savings account can be opened as a stand alone account.

Update 4/13/09: This account now appears to be restricted to residents of Pennsylvania. A reader reported being rejected in the application due to residing outside of Pennsylvania. The bank remains vague on why they say anyone can apply if they don't intend to accept out-of-state applications.

The bank offers an ACH transfer service which they call external funds transfers. All standard service (3 day) inbound transfers are free. The first 3 per month of standard service outbound transfers are free. I wasn't able to get additional details about this service from the CSR.

There's also a reward checking account called the Maximum Earnings Checking that pays 4.51% APY on balances up to $25K as of 3/05/09. This uses the same online application as the savings account.

Competitive Certificate of Deposit Rates

The bank also has some very competitive CD rates. These are called Maximum Earning CDs. The current Bonus APY is 3.00% for terms of 11, 15 and 18 months. The Bonus APY requires a Maximum Earnings Checking Account. These rates are listed at the top of the bank's rate table as of 3/05/09. There's an online application, but it's different than the one for the savings and checking accounts.

The bank is based in Dunmore, Pennsylvania with several branches in the northeast part of the state.

The bank has some strong ratings for safety and soundness: 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com and 3.5 stars (good) at BauerFinancial. Both ratings are based on 9/30/08 financial data. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 7472).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this bank

Related Pages: First National Community Bank (PA), CD rates, savings account

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
The rates are great, but the account is hard to use. The customer service hotline is pretty good, but I'm thinking of putting my money in a lower rate account that is more user-friendly.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I was originally told by a customer service representative that they accepted out of state accounts. After applying and providing them with all of my confidential information, I received a letter saying they were rejecting me because "...you reside outside of our servicing area".

Upon calling the bank and speaking to a supervisor, I was told that "they accept applications from individuals residing anywere, but do not open accounts for customers outside of Pennsylvania". When I explained that this was not only contrary to what I'd been originally told, but also didn't make any sense (why even take an application if it's known in advance it won't be accepted?), the supervisor became very rude and offensive. She said "We accept them, but we don't have to approve them, ALRIGHT?".

Clearly there is something not right going on here.

This is the most bizarre experience I've had with a bank (and I hope it's a real bank, for the sake of the confidential information they now have).
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
Thanks for describing your experience. Sorry to read they denied your application. I don't understand whey they give this conflicting information. I've updated the post, and I'm no longer considering it nationally available.

I would guess the conflicting info is due to bad policies rather than fraud. The bank and its URL are listed at this FDIC page. The bank's primary regulator is the OCC, and the bank does show up at the OCC's website.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
Currently residing in CA, I had no problem opening the FNCB's ME Savings account: overall pretty smooth procedure, besides the issue of my signature card which at first, was acknowledged by the bank as received... but now reported as not yet received.
However, with FNCB's recent rate drop, Darby-Direct Online Savings becomes much more appealing.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
I confirmed with the CSR that they accept accounts from individuals residing 'anywhere'. But what they say and what they do appear to be two different things.

After applying, I got a rejection note! Upon calling them back and talking to 3 people, the reason they finally gave for my rejection is that...I'm in the wrong state!

I've been banking for over 25 years, and this is the first rejection I've ever gotten.