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CUs offering ways to save through economy
MADISON, Wis. (11/5/08)--With consumers reviewing household budgets and hunkering down to weather a possibly long recession, credit unions are trying to make it as easy as possible for their members to save. At least two are providing special promotions taking the economy into account. Georgia's largest credit union, Delta Community CU, Atlanta, introduced a 12-month StandingStrong CD with what it says is one of the market's highest annual percentage yields (APY)--4.50%. That compares with the nation's one-year CD average of 3.59%. The certificate has a minimum deposit of $1,000 and there's no cap on the amount. All deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) NationalCredit Union Share Insurance Fund. "Our strong financial position allows us to offer a safe, secure short-term growth product at an attractive rate," said Rick Foley, president/CEO, in a press release (MarketWire Oct. 31). "It is exactly what consumers are looking for in light of their loss of confidence in the stock market and retirement funds." He noted the deal has the best of both worlds: maturity that can generate noticeable interest and the assurance that the money is safe. In Walnut Creek, Calif., $1.109 billion asset Pacific Service CU is offering a higher-yielding insured investment to let members escape from Wall Street bailouts and the volatile stock market. The "Great 8scape" certificate is an eight-month certificate featuring a tiered-rate structure with higher rates for larger balances. It can be purchased as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and is insured for up to $250,000 by the NCUA. "In this current environment of low-rates and unpredictable stock returns, we are pleased to offer a safe, sound and insured savings product with a guaranteed rate of return," said Steve Punch, president of Pacific Service CU. Rates on "Great 8scape" certificates vary depending on the amount deposited. As of Oct. 23, APYs offered were 3.25% for balances under $50,000; 3.40% for balances between $50,000 and $99,999; and 3.60% for balances over $100,000. The certificates can be opened for $1,000 minimum balance and $500 when opened as an IRA certificate. Members age 23 and under can open the certificate with as little as $100, the credit union said.
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