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BASIC BANKING FOR MASSACHUSETTS
Guidelines

Introduction

Basic Banking for Massachusetts was launched in 1994 to expand access to bank products and services and to encourage those with modest incomes to establish banking relationships. Banks participating in Basic Banking for Massachusetts voluntarily provide low-cost checking and savings accounts that meet the guidelines below.


Basic Checking Account Guidelines

  • A maximum monthly charge of no more than $3.00.
  • A minimum of 15 free withdrawals, including at least eight (8) checks, per month.
  • A minimum deposit of no more than $25.00 to open the account.
  • A maximum fee for each withdrawal over the minimum number of free withdrawals of no more than $1.00.
Basic Savings Account Guidelines
  • A maximum monthly charge of no more than $1.00.
  • A minimum deposit of no more than $10.00 to open the account.

Basic Banking accounts cannot be conditional, e.g. limited to those who open both a checking and savings account or to those with Direct Deposit.


To help meet the goals of Basic Banking for Massachusetts, MCBC also recommends that participating banks adopt the following procedures:

Under Basic Banking for Massachusetts, it is expected that participating banks will use their customary account opening guidelines. However, banks are strongly encouraged to exercise flexibility by accepting alternative forms of identification.

  • Banks should fully disclose all services counted as a checking account withdrawal.
  • It is expected that participating banks will use controls to assure that an applicant has not had prior difficulties with deposit account(s).
  • Both the basic checking and savings accounts should only be closed for the same reasons that other accounts are closed.
  • Persons with a basic checking or savings account should not be limited exclusively to ATMs or any form of non-teller related services.
  • Basic savings accounts should be designed to avoid losses in customer balances, e.g. banks may waive interest payments or design alternative fee structures for low balance accounts.

                   

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