How One Of 2005's Highest Paying CDs (10%) Did For Michigan's Cornerstone

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A three-month campaign that offered a whopping 10% interest rate on a one-year CD to qualifying members pulled in 43 new accounts totaling $106,600.

"Of course, we would have liked to have seen more, but it was definitely decent during this challenging financial landscape," said Heather Hall, marketing manager at Cornerstone Community Financial (CU). "And, we definitely learned from the experience."

Among the lessons learned, she said, was that the campaign had "too many qualifiers." To qualify, members and new members had to open a checking account and sign up for direct deposit within 90 days of opening the account.

The CD rate, more than double the national average of 4.30% on a one-year term at the time it was being marketed, was offered as part of an effort to raise awareness about CCF's new community charter. CCF has $134 million in assets and about 14,5000 members.

Aware of the risks of losing the member after the rate expires, Hall said, officials are confident that other products and services will win them over as members.

There is already talk of conducting a similar high-interest CD promotion in the spring, sans some or all of the qualifiers, Hall said.

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