In an effort to boost awareness of its 4.5% e-savings account (see NetBanker March 29), Citibank made the unusual decision to reveal its 5-year forecast for industry-wide sales of online savings accounts. In today's New York Times, Citibank.com director Catherine Palmieri made the following market size estimates:
$250 billion in 2006
$600 billion in 2010
To put the numbers in perspective, the 2006 estimate is approximately four times the total deposits of the two biggest direct banks, ING Direct and E*Trade. And it's about 4% of the total U.S. deposit market of $6 trillion.
Assuming Citibank is right and the online savings market grows at a compounded rate of 25% per year, it will represent 10% of today's total deposits or 8.5% of the total $7 trillion in total deposits 2010, assuming a 3% annual growth rate.
The article also said that HSBC Direct is on track to have 250,000 accounts by the end of this year.
Googling "online savings accounts" from a Seattle IP address today found Citibank in the number seven position. Here were the top advertisers (see inset above for closeup):
1. HSBC Direct
2. Emigrant Direct
3. Capital One
4. American Express
6. Alaska USA Credit Union (Seattle local ad)
7. Citibank Direct