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Fall 2008 • Volume 26, Number 3

You’re First.

Congress increases FDIC protection through 2009 The October signing of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act temporarily raises the basic limit on federal deposit insurance coverage from $100,000 to $250,000 per depositor. The temporary increase in deposit insurance coverage became in October and provides that the basic deposit insurance limit will return to $100,000 after December 31, 2009. “This temporary increase in deposit insurance coverage should go far to help consumers maintain confidence in the banking system and the marketplace,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair. “And clearly the public’s confidence is key to a healthy and stable economy.” The legislation did not increase coverage for retirement accounts; it continues to be $250,000. FDIC insurance covers funds in deposit accounts, including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). FDIC insurance does not, however, cover other financial products and services that insured banks may offer, such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, life insurance policies, annuities or municipal securities. There is no need for depositors to apply for FDIC insurance or even to request it. Coverage is automatic. To ensure funds are fully protected, depositors should understand their deposit insurance coverage limits. The FDIC provides separate insurance coverage for deposits held in different ownership categories such as single accounts, joint accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and trust accounts. NEW Basic FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage (effective through December 31, 2009) Single Accounts (owned by one person) $250,000 per owner Joint Accounts (two or more persons) $250,000 per co-owner IRAs and certain other retirement accounts $250,000 per owner Trust Accounts $250,000 per owner per beneficiary subject to specific limitations and requirements These deposit insurance coverage limits refer to the total of all deposits that an accountholder (or accountholders) has at each FDIC-insured bank. The listing above shows only the most common ownership categories that apply to individual and family deposits, and assumes that all FDIC requirements are met. Previously passed FDIC changes in qualifying beneficiaries for Payable-on-Death (POD) accounts are also worth noting. Under the old FDIC rules, the beneficiary(s) had to be the owners spouse, child, grandchild, parent or sibling to qualify for the maximum coverage. The new rules allow the owner to name “any” person as well as a charitable or non-profit organization that qualifies under the IRS codes. Check IRS codes or contact the IRS directly for specific qualifications. See FDIC continued on page 2

Staff at First Federal’s new location within Lowes Foods in Grande Dunes include: Stephanie Taylor, Jaime Siratt, Assistant Manager Krystle Patel, Senior Sales Associate Brittany Johnson and Manager Pat O'Connor.

First Federal offers extended hours, opens additional 7-day office this fall First Federal is pleased to announce expanded convenience and access with extended hours in our Customer Call Center, and an additional office open seven days a week. Both are new this fall, and we hope you’ll reap the benefits of both. Extended Customer Service The First Federal Customer Service Department has recently extended its hours to 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday - Friday to better serve clients. The Customer Service Call Center is based in the First Federal Corporate Center and provides assistance and information on a wide range of bank products and services including checking, savings and money market accounts as well as certificates of deposit, ATM and debit cards and First Federal personal Online Banking. Extended hours make the Call Center more accessible, and we’re pleased to offer our new hours to you. You can reach Customer Service by calling 843-529-5555, toll free at 888-529-2220 or by email at ffcustomerservice@firstfederal.com. See 7-Day continued on page 2 Connections • Page 1


Equity AccessLine provides solutions for debt consolidation, home improvements If you’re a homeowner, First Federal’s Equity AccessLine (EAL) may be just the tool you need to consolidate debt, pay college tuition, make home improvements or a variety of other borrowing needs. An EAL utilizes the value of your home by serving as a personal line of credit. An Equity AccessLine can provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $250,000.

How can I use my EAL? Use a home equity loan for almost anything. Common uses include debt consolidation (paying off high-interest credit card debt), home improvements, making a down payment on a second home, purchasing land, paying for education expenses, college tuition and buying luxury items.

What is an EAL? An Equity AccessLine is a form of credit for which your home is pledged as collateral. Generally, an EAL offers a prime plus rate and a fixed monthly payment. You can estimate your home equity by adding the balance of all the debts secured by your home, then subtracting the total from your home’s value.

Can I pay off balances from other accounts? Yes. You may use the proceeds to pay off high interest balances from other accounts.

What are the primary advantages? The two major advantages are lower interest rates and potential tax savings: • The interest rate you will pay on the EAL is generally lower than the interest rate you will pay on the average credit card or any other type of non-secured debt. • You can generally deduct the interest you pay. The interest you pay on credit cards and other types of personal loans is generally not tax-deductible.

For more information on First Federal’s EAL, please contact the First Federal office nearest you, or visit our website at www.firstfederal.com.

Thereafter, pay as low as

Equity AccessLine With a below-prime rate of

6.00% APR 5.25% APR Up to $250 toward closing costs.

For the first 12 months!

Introductory Annual Percentage Rate is 5.25% as of October 1, 2008, and will remain in effect for 12 month s after opening. Th ereafter, th e variable periodic rate and corresponding Annual Percentage Rate will convert to th e contract rate wh ich will be indexed to th e Wall Street Journal Prime Rate as publish ed on th e last day of each month . Over th e life of th e loan, th e minimum APR will be 6.00% and th e maximum APR will be no h igh er th an 18.00%. Please see representative for specific loan details. Depending on th e Equity AccessLine option you ch oose, th e approved minimum opening line amount is eith er $10,000 or $15,000. A balloon payment may be required on any unpaid balance at th e end of th e initial 15-year period. Property insurance is required. A credit of up to $250 will be applied toward your closing costs wh ich are estimated to range from $300 to $475. $35 annual fee for non-usage. Subject to credit approval. Limited time offer and subject to ch ange.

FDIC continued from page 1 CDARS provides up to $50 million in FDIC coverage While the new FDIC changes provide meaningful increases in coverage, highbalance depositors may want even more protection. First Federal’s participation in the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS) makes it possible for customers to access full FDIC insurance on CD deposits up to $50 million. CDARS participation helps those clients avoid spreading their deposits over multiple banks to get FDIC coverage for all their Connections • Page 2

7-Day continued from page 1 money. When a customer opens a CD using CDARS, they sign just one agreement with First Federal, earn one interest rate, and receive one statement. For more information, please visit our website at www.firstfederal.com and click on the certificates of deposit section. If you have additional questions, contact First Federal Customer Service at 843-529-5555, or the FDIC at www.myFDICinsurance.gov or by calling toll free 1-877-ASK-FDIC.

Seven-day banking at Lowes Foods, Grande Dunes Residents on the north end of the Grand Strand have an additional location for sevenday banking with First Federal’s new office in Lowes Foods in Grande Dunes. The office is one of 14 First Federal in-store offices within Wal-Mart Supercenters and a Kroger Grocery Store. All offer 7-day banking and extended of 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and on Sundays from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Patrick O’Connor is the manager at the Lowes location.


First Federal is out and about this season October 15 - November 1: Man of LaMancha Theatre of the Republic, Conway First Federal is proud to sponsor all performances of this season’s production.

October 21 - November 3: Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild Fall Exhibit First Federal lobby 4331 Robert M. Grissom Parkway, Myrtle Beach Visit during business hours to view the work of 100 of the best arts and craftspeople in the region and vote for the People’s Choice award until October 28.

December 18:

Night of a Thousand Candles 4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Brookgreen Gardens, Pawleys Island First Federal will sponsor an entertainment tent featuring five holiday performances and storytellers.

January 9 -11:

Grand Strand Boat Show Myrtle Beach Convention Center Visit the First Federal booth for all your marine lending needs, and register to win daily prizes.

February 27 - March 1:

Hilton Head Island Homebuilders Association Home & Garden Show The Mall at Shelter Cove, hilton Head Island Visit the First Federal booth for all your residential lending needs, and register to win daily prizes.

March 6 - 8:

Savannah International Boat Show Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, GA Visit the First Federal booth for all your marine lending needs, and register to win daily prizes.

First Federal brings the bank to 69 coastal schools With the start of a new school year, 69 elementary schools in seven coastal counties are getting an early lesson in the value of thrift and savings thanks to partnerships with First Federal. This year First Federal’s Bank In School program is offering monthly banking services to elementary schools in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, and Horry counties. The program gives children the opportunity to open a savings account or make a deposit to an existing account. With each account, the child is an automatic member of the First Federal Squirrels Club, which comes with numerous benefits like free admission to sporting events, prizes and birthday gifts. “Our mission is to make sure children within our service area know the importance of learning to save and manage money early in life,” said Debbie Mullins, First Federal’s youth programs coordinator. “We send a bank representative to the schools each month so it’s easy on the schools, and the results are extremely positive.” Children and parents applaud the Bank In School program as a wonderful tool for teaching financial responsibility early on. “The feedback is so positive, and the children love the opportunity to watch their money grow,” Mullins said. “The parents and students always look forward to it.” Children who open a savings account at Bank In School can do so for $5, and deposits are welcome in any amount. “We have children who empty the change out of their pockets, as well as those whose parents send them with larger amounts,” Mullins said. “Regardless of the amount, the children are always proud of themselves, and they’re learning valuable lessons.” For more information on Bank In School, please contact Debbie Mullins at 843-529-5610 or visit the Squirrels Club website at www.firstfederal.com.

Connections • Page 3


Bank Notes Steadman joins Commercial Lending Veteran banker William F. Steadman has joined First Federal as a senior commercial loan officer on Hilton Head Island. Steadman has a wealth of William F. Steadman experience with 29 years in the financial services industry, most recently as a regional president with Southcoast Bank. In addition, he is a member of the South Carolina Bankers Association, the Hilton Head Island Chamber of Commerce and Rotary, and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Steadman can be reached at 843-8422376 or wsteadman@firstfederal.com.

Heart Association recognizes First Federal as 2008 Fit-Friendly Company First Federal is among five Charlestonarea companies that top the American Heart Association’s list of 2008 Fit-Friendly Companies. The list also includes the City of Charleston, William M. Bird & Company, Inc., Motley Rice, LLC, and Trident Health System. First Federal demonstrates commitment to the physical and mental health of employees by promoting a fit-friendly workplace that incorporates an active wellness program integrated into the daily fabric of the bank’s culture. The program includes Weight Watchers at Work, an ongoing walking/exercise program with measurement tools and rewards and other activities. The American Heart Association’s Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition program calls for employers to encourage workplace wellness and create a work environment conducive to physical activity, specifically walking.

Florence bank staff participated in the United Way Day of Caring in September. Pictured here are:Jamie Lawson, Julie Brunson, Chip Holbrooks, Jimmy Wilson and Jamie Carsten

CT Wallace, First Federal merchandising coordinator, and Tom Hood, First Federal president and CEO, enjoy the Charleston Heart Walk September 20 at Liberty Square in Charleston. First Federal was the Welcome Home Sponsor of the event.

First Federal volunteers participated in the Trident United Way Day of Caring painting the staff offices at Big Brothers/Big Sisters and beautifying the grounds of the Florence Crittenton Home.

Connections is published by the Marketing Department of First Federal, located at 2440 Mall Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston, SC 29406; phone number 843/529-5930. Reproduction of any part without express written consent of the publisher is prohibited. The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice. We hope you’ll consult your attorney, accountant, or financial or tax advisor regarding your individual needs.


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