Review: Goldman Sachs Bank
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The name Goldman Sachs isn't usually associated with everyday banking for the 99%, but that may be changing. GE Capital is now Goldman Sachs Bank, also known as GS Bank or GSB. Here's what you need to know:
What is Goldman Sachs Bank?
It is a new consumer online banking initiative from the long-established investment banking behemoth Goldman Sachs & Co. Having acquired the online banking platform of GE Capital, along with that bank's $16 billion in deposits, GSB makes this offer to potential customers: Deposit your money in an FDIC-insured online savings account or certificate of deposit at GS Bank and appreciate the perks of no minimum deposit and no transaction fees.
Minimums and interest rates
For those who prefer to bank online, GSB offers a savings account with no minimum deposit required to open an account. A recent APY of 1.05 percent proved very competitive with the best online bank rates among popular online banking competitors. That rate is far more attractive than the average U.S. bank savings rate of 0.06 percent. The bank also imposes a limit of six withdrawals per statement cycle as required by law. Interest is compounded daily on your deposits, and the accrued interest is paid monthly.
Certificates of deposit
GS Bank also offers competitive rates on certificates of deposit with terms of six months to six years, but its CD rates are not among the best online bank rates for CDs.
For instance, GSB recently offered a 1 percent APY on a 12-month CD, which fared poorly against an online competitor with a 1.25 percent APY one-year CD. But you might be rewarded to look further because the 2.0 percent rate on GSB's five-year CD is its most competitive.
Fees and services
Goldman Sachs Bank is highly competitive on fees, levying no transaction fees or monthly maintenance fees. But in terms of online services, it tends to fall short. Unlike the best online banking options, for example, online bill pay and mobile check deposits are not offered by GSB. The same is true for check-writing, ATM services or overdraft protection. Those banking with Goldman Sachs can only access funds by transferring them to another bank.
Some who have tried the GSB customer service toll-free number have found personal service through that portal is not yet among the bank's strengths.
GSB limits savings deposits to $250,000 for new customers. For joint accounts, the limit is $500,000. GSB officials report the quarter-million-dollar ceiling is designed to increase deposits from more average Joes, and thus create diversity in deposits.
The following features apply to both GSB savings accounts and GSB certificates of deposit. There are no transaction fees. Up to six beneficiaries can be added to each account, beneficiaries must be individuals and not trusts, and Social Security numbers of beneficiaries are required. There is no charge for sending or receiving wire transfers.
Features of savings accounts
In addition to those already mentioned, GSB savings accounts have these features:
- The savings account rate applies to all deposits of $1 or more.
- There is free ACH transfer service, with ACH transfers taking three or four days, and links to up to four outside accounts are permitted.
- The maximum outgoing transfer online is $125,000, but transfers handled by phone have no maximum.
Features of certificates of deposit
More features of GSB certificates of deposit:
- The 10-day CD Rate Guarantee assures GSB's highest interest rate will be in place during the 10 days from the date the account is opened, as long as it is funded in that period.
- There is an early withdrawal penalty amount equal to 270 days of simple interest on terms of 12 months to five years.
- The minimum deposit is $500 and a 10-day grace period exists at maturity.
- Accounts can be funded by ACH, wire transfer or check.
- Disbursements of interest on CDs are allowed each month to GSB savings accounts or outside linked accounts.
Is it worth it?
Is Goldman Sachs Bank the best bank to bank with? It truly depends on what you find most important. If you savor competitive savings accounts rates, competitive fees and are lured by the cache of the name Goldman Sachs, you may want to try out online banking at GSB. But if online bill pay, mobile banking, check writing and ATM access are important services to you, you will have better luck elsewhere.
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