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My Interview with the CIT Bank President


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.

Related Pages: CIT Bank

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
You call that an interview??  It was more like an ad for CIT bank.

I hope they paid you well for this "interview".
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #3
We have never allowed a paid post/article.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I'd ask questions like whether they realize their website is so bad (and any plans to replace it), and why a renewed CD loses benefits after it has renewed (eg can't bump the rate). I might also ask why they opt to offer much higher rates via brokered CDs rather than through their own bank.
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #4
Thanks for your suggested questions. I felt that high level questions were better for this specific interview. We can look into a future interview for additional questions. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Good job, Ken!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
CIT just announced they'll be launching a new website, so there's the answer to that question.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
So #1, do you think Ken does all this work for nothing?  Even if he was paid for the interview, which I believe he wasn't, don't you think the rewards that you have got in the past by coming to this website to get the highest rates on c.d.'s and other valuable financial information, that you might owe Ken an apology for the comment you made?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
It was a reasonable concern given that CIT does pay for ads on the website and there's not much value in the questions of the answers except to talk about the banks products. Eg , why would anyone care about the first question and #6 asks about "unique" features that aren't unique (uncommon perhaps, but not unique).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Thanks Ken for your hard work. Based on your site we put 150K into PenFed CD's at last year's 3% rate. Not much historically, but I needed an additional place to stash some cash. My brokered CD's are much less flexible than the PenFed option. Many Thanks!

The interview with CIT sounds rather traditional but online banking is the future and CIT, like those that follow, will develop products and services in response to market demand. Or, they will go away. Now, when are you going to interview Janet?