TCF Financial Corp., Minneapolis, is wooing new customers with an individual retirement savings account promotion that takes advantage of recent tax changes.

Customers who open a statement savings account before Jan. 1-the first day the so-called Roth IRAs become are available- will get a 10% annual percentage yield until then. On Jan. 1 the account will roll over into an IRA certificate of deposit with a 6% yield.

The attractive yield will appeal to people who do not already bank at TCF, said Greg Condra, vice president and director of retail product management. Bringing in new customers is the best way a bank can take advantage of the new tax laws, he said.

"We have research that suggests that household savings rates will be largely unaffected by this tax law change," Mr. Condra said. "So if a bank wants to do something other than move money from one account to another, the only hope is to get new money, with new offers."

Customers who open the savings accounts slated to become IRAs will have the option of either a Roth IRA for retirement savings, or a new "education IRA," meant to help save for a child's college education. Customers with adjusted gross income of up to $95,000 and married couples with incomes of up to $150,000 can qualify for either.

The national average yield for money market accounts was 2.64% on Oct. 8, according to Interest Rate Monitor, West Palm Beach, Fla. Money market accounts generally offer higher yields than statement savings accounts.

TCF began its IRA promotion on Columbus Day, when many other banks were closed, Mr. Condra said. The promotion met with a strong response on the first day, Mr. Condra said. He declined, however, to say how many accounts were opened.

The bank is advertising the IRA promotion in major daily newspapers and on radio in the five states where it has branches, Mr. Condra said. It is also touting the product in selective telemarketing efforts, he said, and with in-branch signs and statement stuffers.

TCF operates branches in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

In Michigan, where it operates under the name Great Lakes National Bank, IRAs will offer a 6.25% interest yield.

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