Key Bank is our local bank and pretty much has a monopoly on cash machines within a reasonable distance from our house.So, when we moved here it was a no-brainer to open accounts at Key. After a reasonably large capital gain I parked the proceeds in a money market account at Key. the annual interest rate seemed reasonably competitive.Many months later I noticed that the interest rate on the money market account had gone down considerably while the federal over-nightlending rate had been rising.How could this be? Key said that rates fluctuate (read the small print) and basically they can do what they want.The branch manager, or assistant manager rather, as there is no manager of the local branch couldn't explain this.My understanding is a money market account's yield is directly related to the very short tern securities held within the fund. This is certainly true of the other Money Market account I hold at a Brokerage.So, what's the deal? Is this a true money market account or a savings account that Key calls a Money Market account? There is no disclosure as to what is held in the fund or the returns. This practice of stealthily lowering interest rates on accounts while interest rates are rising seems devious at least and what? Maybe illegal at worst. Banks are federally regulated are they not?I have never come across this practice before. The assistant manager explained that Key periodically creates new money market accounts and advertise the teaser rate, hoping to attract new customers. However, they will not allow current customers to take advantage of the higher rates and transfer their money to the new accounts (even if they notice, and request the new rate) — they do this while reducing the rates on their existing money market accounts, hoping that most customers wont notice or complain.Any feedback or comments as to this would be welcome. (Before I contact the Attorney Generals Office.)
Is this a true money market account or a savings account that Key calls a Money Market account? I've noticed the same phenomenon. I now keep only the bare minmum at Key to qualify for free checking (their checking, ATMs, and on-line banking are convenient) but the bulk of our savings are kept at a local S&L that offers a better, non-vanishing, rate. Let us know what you find.
I think the best way to take care of this is by moving your account. Its too bad Wells Fargo doesn't have branches in your area. they do a much better job of servicing the client.
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