bank rates

Happy Future For GE Capital Customers?

GE Capital Retail Bank logoSince it acquired MetLife Bank’s deposit account business last month, GE Capital Retail Bank has done some downward tweaking of selected CD rates.

As a former MetLife customer, this hasn’t improved my attitude toward my new bank.

However, a recent online survey taken of MetLife customers by GE Capital has given me some hope for the future. The questions it asked may indicate a depositor-friendly direction.

For example, several questions explored my knowledge of, and opinions concerning, 11 banks.

These included five megabanks, like Citi and BofA.

I generally gave the megabanks a “0” rating (meaning “extremely unfavorable” view).

What particularly interested me, though, were the online banks GE Capital inquired about – Ally, American Express, Capital One/ING, CIT and Discover.

Perhaps GE Capital chose these online banks because they are the largest. I hope, however, their selection indicates GE Capital will consider them its closest competitors and strive to regularly match, or exceed, their rates.

The survey also solicited my reaction to a proposed product description of GE Capital CDs, asking me to indicate specific words that “appealed” to me.

I chose “lock in higher rates” as my favorite phrase in the proposed description.

In addition, there were questions suggesting a GE Capital name change. (The current name doesn’t exactly grab your attention.)

While not offering up specific names, the bank sought my reaction to certain words that might be included in a new moniker, including “Confidence,” “Secure,” “Vault” and “Genius.”

With memories of the 2008-09 financial debacle still fresh, I opted for any of the first three over “Genius.”

The most intriguing questions, however, centered on what I intended to do with my deposit accounts.

One, instructing me to “[a]ssume that GECRB was thinking about changing the interest rates you currently receive for your accounts,” asked the relative likelihood I would remain a customer for at least the next 12 months if I got a 0.50% rate boost on my CDs.

My answer: “extremely likely.”

With several CDs maturing this year, I’m hoping this question indicates GECRB is considering offering a significant “loyalty reward” for renewals, as Ally has done.

An extra half of a percentage point would be nice.

Unfortunately, GE Capital let me complete only one survey.

I wish I’d been able to submit one for each of my 10 accounts.

That way, I could have made absolutely sure the bank got my message: Give me higher rates!

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  1. Charles Rechlin said:
    on February 25th at 08:50 am

    Maybe my hope for a 50 basis point “loyalty reward” is a bit unrealistic. One of my CDs matured this weekend, and, to induce me to renew, the bank was willing to offer me a 1.15% APY 13-month CD (10 basis points above the posted 12-month rate) or a 1.30% APY 36-month CD (5 basis points above the posted rate). I thanked the CSR, then arranged to wire the money to Pentagon Federal CU, which is still offering a 1.85% APY 3-year CD.