Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Savings Account Interest Rates keep getting slashed

Wow...this week my savings account at HSBC had its interest rate slashed once again. Here is part of the letter entitled "A Personal Message from Our Executive Vice President regarding Your HSBC Direct Account."

In these challenging times, having a savings plan is more important than ever. At HSBC Direct we are committed to helping you with your savings goals by providing the best rate we can.

As you are undoubtedly already aware, there has been a general trend of reducing interest rates in the U.S. market over recent months. These changes have been influenced by the Federal Reserve moving its target interest rate down in response to developments in the economy and financial markets. Last week the Federal Reserve again reduced this key rate, by 0.75% to 2.25%.

At HSBC Direct we review our rates regularly in the context of market conditions, the federal funds rate and the overall economic environment to ensure we are providing you a competitive rate at all times. Following a further review of all of these factors, we have reduced our Online Savings Account rate by 0.50% to 3.05% APY* effective 3/20/2008.

I wonder what makes this message "personal?" Later, Mr Kevin Martin, the supposed author of this email, states:
The good news is, you’re still getting a competitive rate — 7x the national savings average.

Well, gee Kevin...that is great news! When I signed up for HSBC Direct it was the promise of 5.05% interest rates that had me create an account. Meanwhile, I am paying 5.875% on my mortgage to your company. Since you dropped my interest rate down 2% now, can I have a 2% drop on my mortgage interest rate in the name of fairness? How about just a 1%? Since there is a "a general trend of reducing interest rates in the U.S." I think I would like to join in this trend with my debt as well :-)

Unfortunately, HSBC is still #3 on the list for savings account interest rates in my area. All I know is that HSBC is not gaining my customer loyalty through their continuous reaction to the market. I guess I would have been liked to been told at the beginning that the interest rate was going to track near to the fed's rate directly. That way a fed rate increase would allow me to immediately also see an increase in my savings percentage.

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