SALT LAKE CITY – With loan growth showing big gains, the $172 million Utah First Credit Union is finding an attractive 5.5% rate on certificates of deposit a useful tool in bringing liquidity. Indeed, during a special two-day private sale the Salt Lake CU brought in $4 million on 12-to-60 month certificates at the 5.5% rate. “The private sale is sort of a new concept for us and we may do something like it again soon to fund our loan activity,” explained Darin Moody, president/CEO, noting last month’s mail promotion was targeted at members found to have balances at banks and other institutions. In offering the attractive 5.5% rate, Utah First joins a handful of Salt Lake banks including Zions in CD promotions. Home Savings Bank began the competition by first offering a 13-month CD at 5.35% and last week increased it to 5.41% with Zions Bank jumping in with 5.5% Moody said his CU has been experiencing big loan demand on home equity products and needed the liquidity, deciding the promotion using its MCIF “rather than spending large amounts of marketing dollars” would work well in attracting funds. The Salt Lake Tribune taking note of the higher rates said in an article Utah consumers in the past “were hard pressed to find any CD paying more than 2 percent, let alone exceeding 5 percent.” But now, “attractive rates on a variety of CDs are being offered by banks, credit unions and brokerages-bringing returns on these ultra-safe investments in line with some riskier investments.” Moody said though that in May Utah First was “on track to witnessing a 27% loan growth rate increase.” This pace “is probably ahead of our peers” and probably relates to new fixed rate home equity products put on at the beginning of the year. In offering the 5.5% rate, Utah First was also “a step ahead” of major regional and national banks. “It was kind of shocking to see some of the big players like Chase, KeyBank and Washington Mutual kind of silent” at first on the CD rates though now they appear to be catching up, said Moody. [email protected]

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