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GE Capital Bank Enters Savings, CD Race

GE Capital logoThere’s a newcomer to the market for online savings accounts and CDs.

It’s GE Capital Bank (GECB) (gecapitalbank.com).

“But that’s old news,” you may be saying. “Didn’t that bank take over the Internet deposit business of MetLife Bank last January?”

The answer is no.

The institution that acquired MetLife’s deposit operations is GE Capital Retail Bank (GECRB), not GECB.

GECB is a state-chartered industrial bank headquartered in Salt Lake City. GECRB is a federal savings bank headquartered in Draper, Utah.

Although each is an indirect subsidiary of General Electric Co., GECB and GECRB are separate banks and separately insured by the FDIC, the former under Certificate 33778 and the latter under Certificate 27314.

Both carry 5-star Bankrate.com Safe & Sound ratings.

The two banks post different rates. At present, GECB seems more geared to attract smaller deposits than GECRB.

GECB’s current online savings account rate is 0.90% APY for all balances up to $1 million.

That rate is good enough to tie with two other banks for the best nationally available deal.

GECRB offers a 0.85% APY online savings rate, and only for balances of $25,000 or more.

GECB’s posted CD rates include the following APYs for all balances (with a minimum deposit of $500 and a maximum of $1 million):

  • 12 months — 0.95%
  • 24 months — 1.05%
  • 36 months — 1.25%
  • 60 months — 1.60%

GECRB’s minimum CD deposit is $2,000, with no maximum.

Its rates are also “tiered,” with higher rates for higher balances.

Some of GECRB’s rates for smaller CD balances are lower than GECB’s rates (e.g., for balances below $15,000, 0.85% APY on 12-month CDs, 1.50% APY on 5-year CDs).

On higher balances, however, GECRB’s CD rates beat GECB’s (e.g., for balances of $25,000 or more, 1.05% APY on 12-month CDs, 1.65% to 1.75% on 5-year CDs).

GECRB also offers IRA and money market accounts. Not so GECB.

Although their separateness is a boon for FDIC insurance coverage, you have to be careful about which bank your deposit accounts are in to keep within FDIC limits.

One problem (which I have) is that both banks have been regular issuers of brokered CDs, and those CDs have to be correctly combined with online CDs to determine FDIC status.

Then, there’s this complication: until recently, both banks had different names — GECB was “GE Capital Financial Inc.” and GECRB was “GE Money Bank.”

Overall, I’m not sure what to make of the appearance of GECB on the Internet banking scene. Only time will tell where it’s headed.

But it’ll be interesting to watch.

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  1. Charles Rechlin said:
    on July 1st at 09:05 am

    Looks like GECB boosted its 12- and 24-month rates to 1.05% and 1.15%, respectively, late last week. That’s progress–which you’d expect from GE.