Battle of the CDs: New England Banks Take a 'Patriotic' Stand on Super Bowl

Article excerpt

BOSTON -- A suburban Chicago thrift's Super Bowl marketing ploy has generated an interest rate rivalry among several New England banks.

Skokie Federal Savings & Loan Assocition took the offensive last week with its "Super Bowl CD" plan. On certificate of deposit accounts opened by this Saturday, the thrift will pay one additional basis point in interest for every point by which the Chicago Bears outscore the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl. The investors are guaranteed an interest rate of at least 8.25%.

Since then, three New England banks have called similar plays, with rates tied to the Patriots' margin of victory over the Bears.

Foxborough Savings Bank in Foxboro, Mass. -- locations of Sullivan Stadium, the Patriots' home field -- is offering the "TD CD," also beginning at 8.25%, with one basis point added for each point of the Patriots' victory margin over the Bears.

Dick Stevens, president of Foxborough Savings, said his $70 million-asset institution is "a small-town bank with close ties to the Patriots."

Not to be left on the sidelines, the Bank of Hartford in Hartford, Conn., is offering the "Patriotic CD" at 8.25%, but its offer comes with a two-basis-point increase for every point by which the Patriots beat the Bears.

Suiting up late, Shawmut Bank of Boston came out with the most lucrative offer. Its "Super Bowl Bonus" CD begins at 8.50%, with two basis points added for each point of the Patriots' victory margin. However, the offer is available only through today.

In an effort to get more yardage out of its program, Foxborough Savings will continue to offer its TD CD, with the interest rate still pegged to the Patriots' victory margin, for one month after the game. …