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First ING Direct, Then HSBC Direct, and Now Emigrant Direct

This article was written by in Banking. 17 comments.

ING Direct was the first of the major online banks to drop its savings account interest rate. ING Direct has had lower rates that most of the online banking institutions for the last several years, but as they were the first major presence on the scene and probably have the largest customer base compared to other online banks, they are still leaders, and people pay attention to what they do.

HSBC Direct was paying attention, and following ING Direct’s drop this bank lowered its rates from 5.05% to 4.5% APY, a steeper drop than ING’s.

As I was updating the list of high-yield savings interest rates for the site yesterday, I noticed that Emigrant Direct has followed suit. This bank, a branch of the Emigrant Savings Bank based in New York, dropped its offered interest rate (yield) from 5.05% to 4.75%. This 30 basis point decrease is larger than ING Direct’s but not as steep as HSBC Direct’s.

Which banks will be next to follow suit? I don’t think we’ve seen the last of lowered savings rates.

In related news, NetBank, also one of the first online banks, has failed and has been taken over by ING Direct. ING Direct has more information for former NetBank customers.

Updated June 21, 2011 and originally published September 29, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Peter

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen you mention it, but Washington Mutual has been offering a 5% savings rate for quite some time. I’m not sure how long it will stick around after this rate change, but I thought I’d mention it.

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avatar kwitchyerbelliakin

Conundrum. Does anyone have an honest and accurate answer? Our government, economists, researchers and others suggest that Americans be better savers. I have been an idiot for following these recommendations. I save over 60% of my gross income. I have no debt and pay taxes on my hard earned money. If I went to a bank to get a signature loan, they will charge me what was formerly an illegal and userious rate of interest. Yet, they will pay me next to nothing (1-4.5%) for inerest. This tells me they really don’t need my money. If they did, they would treat me better. I am guessing that this attitude of “kick the depositor’ is caused because of the way the fractional reserve system works. Any creditor (even one out of work and with no assets) is more important than a lowly depositor, since the profit is made of the debtor not me.

My question is twofold. 1) What do I need to do as a depositor to get some respect from my bank? 2) If I remove All of my savings deposits from the Federal Reserve banking system (~3 million cash), will that be enough to start getting some respect?

If thousands of us get tired of the “doubletalk” from the FED and pull our our deposits, will we finally get a voice in how our deposits are plundered by the banks? Securitized mortgages causeed this mess, and the banks are still involved in this risky game. Anyone knows that a house that orignally sold for $500 in 1918 is NOT WORTH a $450,000 mortgage in 2007! Yet the banks are still throwing money at these potetntially bad loans. The only way I know to stop it is to have a run on the bank. This morning Netbank admitted to ripping off 108 million dollars from honest depositors. Who goes to jail on that crime? Its worse then bank robbery. I wonder what would happen if depositors just closed out our accounts and burned the money? Its not worth much more in an FDIC account!

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avatar pepe

>>If thousands of us get tired of the “doubletalk� from the FED and pull our our deposits, will we finally get a voice in how our deposits are plundered by the banks?

I fear that will not solve anything, as the congress gave the federal reserve the right to coin money and the US dollar is not backed in gold anymore. If you could change your money by gold like before, then the crisis will be in the markets, not in the industry or the power of dollar. But congress and FED decided since long time ago to protect the markets over the country’s industrial potential and the dollar.
So taking the money out will create some noise, and will make them move, but will not save you in this case, as your money worth nothing.
In a future I’ll invest the money in creating my own independence (energy, water, food, security, health etc…), well… if the goverment allowes me to do so …

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avatar Valerie

Take a look at Discover Bank – I just got an Email from them offering 5.20% for Savings/MM and 5.30 for CD’s.

Best thing to do is check daily with Bankrate.com for current reates.

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avatar Luke Landes

Valerie: Thanks for sharing the info! Discover Bank offers 5.25% APY on MMAs but only on balances above $50,000. The entry level rate is 4.25%. The minimum to open an account is a surprisingly high $2,500. You’re also charged a fee for pulling your money out “early” there. The whole purpose of a money market/savings account is liquidity, and they seem to miss that fact. There are certainly better choices out there.

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avatar Luke Landes

Peter: WaMu requires a linked checking account to qualify for the highest rate, which dropped to 5.0% APY on September 30. Otherwise, their rate yields only 0.25% annually.

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avatar Zach

I love my ING Direct account. It doesn’t have the highest APY but you won’t get better customer service anywhere else. Also, their online interface is just easy and awesome.

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