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Banking Articles

Video: Banks Battle Congress to Stop Credit Card Rules

April 20, 2009 | Banking | Videos | No Comments

Below is a video produced by The American News Project (ANP) highlighting how banks employ numerous bank lobbyists to stop Congress from banning the credit card industries worst abuses.  While there are only 3 consumer lobbyists trying to lobby Congress.

Video: Credit Card Industry Defeated for Now

Get Free Garmin GPS to Open KeyBank Checking Account

April 1, 2009 | Banking | No Comments
keybank-gps

This is cool.  KeyBank is offering a free Garmin nüvi GPS when you open a qualifying checking account by April 24, 2009 and make one debit card transaction plus a combination of two direct deposits and/or automated payments each of $100 or more by June 26, 2009.

To qualify, individuals that are new to KeyBank must have not had or opened a KeyBank personal checking account in the last 12 months.  For consumers who open a Key personal checking account jointly (multiple names on one account), one Garmin nüvi GPS will be mailed to the address on record.

Business entities that are new to KeyBank and have not had or opened a KeyBank business checking account in the last 12 months also qualify for the a free Garmin nüvi GPS.

For more information visit Key.com.

2009 List of Failed U.S. Banks

March 23, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

Below is a list of U.S. banks that have failed since the beginning of this year (2009).

Most of the banks listed were acquired by other banks.  The cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF), where the FDIC promises to reimburse customers (now $250,000 per account) is listed in the right column.  This list is expected to grow a lot longer before the end of the year!

See Video: How the FDIC Takes Over a Failed Bank

2009 List of Failed U.S. Banks

Failed bank Date closed Acquired by Estimated cost to DIF ($millions)
National Bank of Commerce, Berkely, IL 1/16/2009 Republic Bank of Chicago, Oak Brook, IL $97.1
Bank of Clark County, Vancouver, WA 1/16/2009 Umpqua Bank, Roseburg, OR $120 – $145
1st Centennial Bank, Redlands, CA 1/23/2009 First California Bank, Westlake Village, CA $227
Magnet Bank, Salt Lake City, UT 1/30/2009 FDIC $119.4
Suburban FSB, Crofton, MD 1/30/2009 Bank of Essex $126
Ocala NB, Ocala, FL 1/30/2009 CenterState Bank of FL, Winter Haven, FL $99.6
FirstBank Financial Services, McDonough, GA 2/6/2009 Regions Bank, Birmingham, AL $111
Alliance Bank, Culver City, CA 2/6/2009 California Bank & Trust, San Diego, CA $206
County Bank, Merced, CA 2/6/2009 Westamerica Bank, San Rafael, CA $135
Sherman County Bank, Loup City, NE 2/13/2009 Heritage Bank, Wood River, NE $28
Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast, Cape Coral, FL 2/13/2009 TIB Bank, Naples, FL $201.5
Corn Belt Bank & Trust, Pittsfield, IL 2/13/2009 Carlinville National Bank, Carlinville, IL $100
Pinnacle Bank, Beaverton, OR 2/13/2009 Washington Trust Bank, Spokane, WA $12.1
Silver Falls Bank, Silverton, OR 2/20/2009 Citizens Bank, Corvallis, OR $50
Heritage Community Bank, Glenwood, IL 2/27/2009 MB Financial Bank, N.A., Chicago, IL $41.6
Security Savings Bank, Henderson, NV 2/27/2009 Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV $59.1
Freedom Bank of Georgia, Commerce, GA 3/6/2009 Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, GA $36.2
Teambank, N.A., Paola, KA 3/20/2009 Great Southern Bank, Springfield, MO $98
Colorado National Bank, Colorado Springs, CO 3/20/2009 Herring Bank, Amarillo, TX $9
FirstCity Bank, Stockbridge, GA 3/20/2009 FDIC $100

Video: How the FDIC Takes Over a Failed Bank

March 9, 2009 | Banking | Videos | 1 Comment

Last night on 60 Minutes was a very interesting segment on how the FDIC takes over failed banks.  The video below shows how a team of FDIC agents prepared to seize Heritage Community Bank outside Chicago. The team checks into a hotel under a fictitious name, CB and Associates, to prevent a run on the bank by depositors. The FDIC didn’t want anyone to know who they were or why they were in town.

Video: How the FDIC Takes Over a Failed Bank

Bank of America, Give the Taxpayers their Money Back

February 27, 2009 | Banking | My Ramblings | No Comments
bank-of-america-stealing-tarp-money

Have you ever loaned or given someone money who you thought really needed help only to find out that soon after they spent the money on something lavish like a big screen TV or vacation without first paying you back?  How did that make you feel?  

Well I hope you are outraged, as I am, about the news of Bank of American paying bonuses of $3.6 billion when they were given $45 billion of taxpayer TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money due to bank’s potential collapse  (see Show me the  TARP Money) .  

As far as I’m concerned, the bonus money needs to return to the government.  That’s our money and the employees of Bank of America didn’t earn or deserve it.  The bank was on the verge of collapse before Merrill Lynch & Co. merged with it.  

Merrill Lynch, a New York-based securities firm, lost a whopping $15.8 billion in the fourth quarter of last year and they are paying out bonuses.  What is wrong with this picture?  Bonuses should be paid when a company meets goals, not when they are on the verge of collapse and the government has to infuse cash just to keep it a float.  Some people really need to go to jail for this.

Yesterday, Kenneth Lewis, C.E.O of Bank of America Corp., flew in on the company’s very expensive jet to testify for four hours at New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s offices about the $3.6 billion in bonuses.  As a result, a subpoena has been issued to Bank of America to produce a list of the individual bonuses.  This is after Bank of America refusing not to turn over the specific information.

The government is investigating whether Merrill Lynch broke securities laws when it paid the bonuses. There is an on-going federal probe of executive pay at banks that received money from TARP. Merrill Lynch and Bank of America have received about $45 billion in TARP money.

I encourage everyone to e-mail, call or write his or her congressman of this outrageous or possible illegal act by Bank of America.  We as taxpayers should want the $3.6 billion returned!  It’s the right thing to do!

Miami Banker Gives Away $60 Million to Employees

February 17, 2009 | Banking | My Ramblings | 1 Comment

I wish I worked for a CEO like Leonard Abess.  After he sold a majority stake in Miami-based City National Bancshares last November to a Spanish bank he gave $60 million of the proceeds, his own money, to 399 employees which included tellers, bookkeepers, clerks, and everyone on the payroll.

Mr. Abess even tracked down 72 former employees to give them a share of the $60 million.  How cool is this guy?  The bonuses were based on years of service and amounted to tens of thousands of dollars to more than $100,000.

Mr. Abess didn’t publicize his generousity and didn’t show up at the bank to get the pleasure of handing out the money.  Of course when people found out he was giving away money, he was inundated with letters soon after.

When asked what motivated him to give away $60 million, he said he has always dreamed of rewarding employees. He added,  ”Those people who joined me and stayed with me at the bank with no promise of equity…I always thought some day I’m going to surprise them…I sure as heck don’t need (the money)”.  Now that’s when you know you are filthy rich; you can easily afford to give away $60 million dollars.

Source: http://www.miamiherald.com

Earn More Money with Internet Banks

February 14, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

If you are keeping your money in a traditional brick and mortar bank you may be losing out on your interest rate.  Let’s face it; in today’s economy, with low interest rates the traditional banks are paying almost nothing for savings accounts.  Bank of America’s Regular Savings is currently paying 0.20% APY (Annual Percentage Yield), Wells Fargo Goal Savings 0.05% APY, while the national average is 0.24% APY.

Surprisingly, if you move your money to an online bank, you can earn up to 2.5% APY. That is a big difference!  If you had $10,000 with an online bank for 1 year at 2.50% APY, you’d make $253 in interest.  If you had the same amount in a traditional bank at 0.24%, you’d make only $24 in interest for the entire year.  That’s a difference of $229.  As you can see, you’ll earn a lot more with an online bank. Over several years that can really add up!  Additionally, the online banks have higher paying CDs than the traditional banks.

The reason online banks pay a higher interest rate is because they have a much lower overhead than the traditional banks.  Most don’t have actual buildings, TMs, tellers, or debit cards, and most offer no check processing, etc.  Keep in mind some Internet banks are divisions of traditional banks.  Also, with the Internet, online banks can be completely automated, requiring very little human intervention.  Computers pretty much run the business.

Traditional Bank Linked to Online Bank

Traditional Bank Linked to Online Bank

I currently have a checking account with Bank of America in which I keep enough money to pay my bills.  The checking account is linked to two online banks where I can easily transfer money back and forth.  The two online banks that I use are INGDirect.com and EmigrantDirect.com, which I highly recommend.  INGDirect.com recently started offering additional services such as a debit card, checking account and free access to ATMs. EmigrantDirect.com doesn’t offer these services as yet. There are a few other good internet banks you can check out, which include Bank of the InternetEtrade.com, WTDirect.com, and HSBCDirect.com.

So go ahead, do some research and open an account with an Internet Bank and get a higher annual interest rate.