Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Banco Fortuna: Emigrant Aims for Growth

Banco FortunaIf there's one thing banks love to do, I guess, it's grow.

I found out last week that Emigrant Direct (review) is launching Banco Fortuna, its online banking division aimed at Spanish-speaking customers. This, I suspect, is a move that will garner them yet another sizeable client base — a client base that I've not yet seen any of the other online savings account "Big Boys" specifically target.

After poking around the English-language version of Banco Fortuna, I've not been able to find much in the way of differences between it and the Emigrant Direct I'm so familiar with. Well, aside from some graphics and logos, I mean. This, in my opinion, is a good thing. My opinion of Emigrant Direct has been very, very favorable.

We've already seen that as Emigrant has grown (and grown substantially), they've been less and less apt to play the part of Rate Leader in the savings game. It's the same path followed by ING Direct (review) before them: Use higher-than-everyone-else rates to snag vast numbers of customers (and millions in customer deposits), and then, over time, simply find a comfy rate plateau where you can balance between keeping your "Lazy Holders" and losing some of your "Rate Chasers."

As much as I'd love to see Emigrant (and by extension, Banco Fortuna) bump their savings rates, it's tough to see why they'd need to do so right now. They've earned a large enough client base, and built a strong enough rep, that it's fairly unnecessary.

It'll be interesting to see what pain, if any, they feel from the 6% newcomers like FNBO Direct.

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— Posted by Michael @ 5:46 PM

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Thoughts on my personal finances, goals, experiences, motivations, and accomplishments (or lack thereof).

My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.
— Dave Ramsey


Start (2005-12): ~$21,900
Currently: $0
[About Our Debt Paydown]


Savings Goal: $15,000
Currently: ~$15,115
[About Our Liquid Savings Goal]