Just over three years ago, CIT first launched an internet bank offering online CDs. CIT Bank later added an online savings account, IRAs and custodial accounts to its offerings.The interest rates have always remained competitive, and that has helped it compete against the established internet banks that have been around for over a decade. It takes more than just competitive interest rates to make a successful internet bank. Innovative products, like CIT Bank's new RampUp CDs, also help.
To find out more about CIT Bank, its products and its future plans, I was given the opportunity to interview the President of CIT Bank, Randall Chesler. I emailed my questions to Mr. Chesler, and he was kind enough to agree to answer all of them. I’ve printed the questions and answers in their entirety below:
1. What was the official date when the CIT Bank RampUp CDs were made available to the public?
1 Year RampUp™ Plus CD (formerly known as "1 Year Achiever CD") – October 17, 2011 (CIT started offering Internet banking services on October 17, 2011)
2 Year RampUp™ Plus CD – January of 2012
3 Year RampUp™ CD – June of 2014
4 Year RampUp™ CD – June of 2014
2. What was the goal of CIT Group in launching an internet bank?
The primary objective of launching CIT Bank’s Internet retail banking operations was to provide retail consumers alternative banking solutions tailored to meet their savings needs via the Internet and provide a funding source for CIT’s lending and leasing businesses.
3. How are you differentiating CIT Bank from the other online banks?
We have differentiated ourselves through our innovative product offerings. CIT Bank is the only bank that offers flexible CDs with its RampUp Family of CDs that range from 1 to 4 year terms. This is a flexible CD product that is suitable for customers with either short or long-term savings goals.
Customers can choose to structure a CD ladder with the RampUp Family of CDs and can take advantage of higher rates with longer-term RampUp CDs while enjoying access to their funds with shorter-term RampUp Plus CDs, giving them the benefits of laddering and flexibility.
These benefits are important for our customers especially in a challenging economic environment.
4. CIT Bank is currently offering some very competitive rates. How do you see a rising interest rate environment affecting CIT Bank? Is there a long-term plan to remain competitive?
We focus on offering competitive rates and would react to a rising rate environment with an eye on peer/competitor bank rates. It is essential that our rates remain competitive in any given rate environment. Superior customer service and comprehensive product offering are also important factors in remaining competitive.
5. CIT Bank recently replaced its Achiever CDs with RampUp(™) Plus CDs. What was the reason behind the change?
We launched the 3 and 4 Year RampUp™ CDs in June of 2014. With this launch, we renamed the 1 and 2 Year "Achiever" CDs to "RampUp™ Plus" CDs.
6. CIT Bank’s RampUp(™) and RampUp(™) Plus CDs offer some unique features. How can these benefit savers?
The RampUp™ Family of CDs is truly built around our customers, offering them more flexibility than traditional CDs with the same competitive rates. These CDs offer a broader range of terms and give them the ability to adjust to market fluctuations.
The RampUp™ Family of CDs are term CDs that offer customers the flexibility to raise their interest rates once during the CD's term should rates go up.
RampUp™ Plus CDs offer another advantage of allowing customers to both boost the rate and increase their initial deposit one time during the CD's term.
In today’s challenging economic environment, the flexibility can help customers achieve their savings goal.
7. Does CIT Bank have any plans for future enhancements or new products?
We are always reviewing opportunities to introduce new products and to make enhancements to our product offerings, services and client experience.
I would like to thank Mr. Chesler for the interview. I look forward to watching CIT Bank compete with the other internet banks, and I wish them success.
For more details about CIT Bank savings account, please refer to my last CIT Bank savings account review. To learn more about CIT Bank’s CDs and new RampUP CDs, please refer to my CIT Bank RampUp CD review.