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CD Special, Checking Bonus & Financial Review of AnchorBank in WI - Local Only


AnchorBank is offering a special CD called Rising Rate CD. It offers a 2.00% interest rate for the first 12 months. At the 12-month mark, you can choose to cash out your CD, or receive a 2.22% interest rate for an additional 18 months. Minimum deposit is $5,000. These rates are listed at the bank's rates page as of 2/23/2010. Rates are only displayed for zip codes that fall within the bank's market area. I checked the rates for zip codes in Madison and Milwaukee, and both had these same rates.

The above CD rate would be a little low if it's compared to a 30-month CD. However, it's a very good deal when compared to 12-month CDs. Having the option to continue the CD for another 18 months could come in handy if rates continue to fall.

Checking Account Bonuses

AnchorBank is also offering $50 for opening its free checking account. Refer to the bank's promotions page for the details. Minimum deposit is $100. This appears to be a very easy bonus with no direct deposit requirement. The only requirement that I see in the small print is that the "account must remain open for six months and should be utilized as the primary checking account." I'm not sure how they define being utilized as a the primary checking account.

There's also a $25 bonus for opening a second checking account. This promotions page has the details.

Branch Locations

AnchorBank has branches throughout Wisconsin including the cities of Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Columbus, Eau Claire, Berlin and Oshkosh.

Financial Overview

AnchorBank is not in the best financial shape. According to this BizTimes.com article:

As a result of the third quarter loss, ABCW remains undercapitalized at the bank level according to the terms of the Order to Cease and Desist by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Being undercapitalized subjects the bank to several operating restrictions, including increased premiums for deposit insurance, prior approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in order to access brokered deposits, and increased scrutiny by the Office of Thrift Supervision

Note, ABCW is short for Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. which is the parent of AnchorBank. Here's the link to the OTS's C&D Order (pdf).

If they are considered less than well capitalized, they are likely subject to the FDIC's rate caps. It's interesting to note that the rate cap for a 30-month CD is around 2.21% (average between the 24- and 36-month CDs). I wonder if this Rising Rate CD would be considered a 30-month CD. The rate cap for a 12-month CD is only 1.59%.

As you might expect, AnchorBank's ratings for safety and soundness are weak: 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com and 0 star (lowest) at BauerFinancial. Both ratings are based on 9/30/09 financial data.

AnchorBank is a sizable bank with $3.6 billion in deposits. It has been a FDIC member since 1938 (FDIC Certificate # 29979).

Related Pages: AnchorBank, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, La Crosse, Wausau, CD rates, checking account

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