MetLife Bank is Now GE Capital Retail Bank
The transition of MetLife Bank, N.A. deposit products and accounts to GE Capital Retail Bank (GECRB) was completed on Monday. According to GE's press release:
STAMFORD, Conn. – January 14, 2013 – GE Capital Retail Bank, a Federal Savings Bank, announced today that it finalized the acquisition of MetLife's deposit base and online deposits business. The deal adds approximately $6.4 billion in deposits, 40 employees, and an established online banking platform. Financial terms of the transaction, which has been approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), were not disclosed.
MetLife Bank's website now points to the new GECRB website. However, the deposit products look the same and are still fairly competitive. Unfortunately, I don't see any hot deal to celebrate the transition. The savings account and money market account have a 0.85% APY for balances of at least $10,000. The two best CD rates are the 12-month CD which has a 1.05% APY for a $25,000 minimum deposit and the 18-month CD which has a 1.12% APY for a $2,000 minimum deposit. These rates are listed in the GECRB's CD page as of 1/15/2013.
Free Identity Theft Protection Still Offered
One perk with MetLife Bank was free identity theft resolution services. GECRB is still offering this:
GE Capital Retail Bank provides deposit account holders with complementary Identity Theft Resolution Services through Identity Theft 911® just for banking with us. If you are ever a victim of Identity Theft, you’ll have the assistance you need to help you get your life back to normal as quickly and easily as possible.
A reader had told me he maintained the MetLife savings account just for this service. If you're going to do this with GECRB, the High Yield Savings Account is the best account since it requires only a $50 minimum balance to avoid a monthly service fee.
GE Capital Retail Bank Overview
GECRB’s main office is located in Draper, Utah. GECRB has been around for awhile. It was established with FDIC insurance in 1988. However, it has not been in the retail deposit-taking business before the MetLife Bank acquisition. Its business focus has been on providing customized credit programs to retailers and consumers.
GECRB has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 7.75% (excellent) based on September 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of GE Capital Retail Bank for more details.
GE Interest Plus Notes
With GECRB now offering deposit accounts online, there might be confusion over GE Capital Invest Direct which has a corporate note program with a money-market-like account. However, it's unsecured debt that is not FDIC insured. The only advantage is a higher rate. Currently, the GE Interest Plus account offers a 1.11% yield for a $50,000 minimum balance. With several FDIC-insured internet money market accounts offering 1.05% APY, this GE Interest Plus account isn't worth it in my opinion. I keep track of a few more of these corporate notes accounts at the bottom of my weekly summaries.