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This entry was published on 2020-02-28
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SECTION 14-F
Power of the superintendent of financial services to require the provision of basic banking services
Banking (BNK) CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE 2
§ 14-f. Power of the superintendent of financial services to require
the provision of basic banking services. 1. The legislature finds and
declares that certain consumers residing in this state may be unable to
afford, without undue financial hardship, the cost of maintaining a
consumer transaction account at a banking institution located in this
state. It is the policy of this state that, consistent with safe and
sound banking practices, banking institutions make available lower cost
banking services to consumers. It is further intended that no banking
institution be required to offer lower cost banking services at a cost
to account holders which is less than the actual cost to the banking
institution to provide such services.

2. Except as otherwise provided in this section, every banking
institution shall make available to consumers a consumer transaction
account, to be known as a "basic banking account", with the following
features to be prescribed by the superintendent of financial services by
regulation:

(a) the maximum amount which a banking institution may require as an
initial deposit, if any;

(b) the maximum amount a banking institution may require as a minimum
balance, if any, to maintain such account;

(c) eight withdrawal transactions for account holders under sixty-five
years of age, and twelve withdrawal transactions for account holders
sixty-five years of age or older, including those conducted at
electronic facilities, during any periodic cycle at no additional charge
to the account holder; and

(d) the maximum amount a banking institution may charge per periodic
cycle for the use of such account.

3. With respect to any transactions in excess of the number specified
in accordance with paragraph (c) of subdivision two of this section, (a)
a banking institution may impose a reasonable per-transaction charge, or
(b) it may impose the fees and charges normally applied to other
consumer transaction accounts available at that banking institution
provided that any charge per periodic cycle imposed hereunder must be
reduced by the charge imposed under paragraph (d) of subdivision two of
this section; provided however, that at no time shall the fees and
charges on the basic banking account exceed the amount that is normally
applied to other consumer transaction accounts available at that banking
institution.

4. A banking institution may require as a condition for opening or
maintaining a basic banking account, (a) that the holder of a basic
banking account be a resident of this state; and (b) the direct deposit
to the banking institution of recurring payments such as, but not
limited to, social security, wage, or pension payments where direct
deposit is available to both the consumer and the banking institution.

5. Except as provided in this section and any rules and regulations
promulgated hereunder, a basic banking account may be offered subject to
the same rules, conditions and terms normally applicable to other
consumer transaction accounts offered by the banking institution;
provided that the fees and charges for specific services other than
those otherwise provided in this section shall not exceed those imposed
by the banking institution for the same services in connection with
other consumer transaction accounts offered by the banking institution.

6. No banking institution shall be required to permit any person to
open or maintain a basic banking account pursuant to this section if
such person maintains another consumer transaction account either at
that banking institution or any other banking institution.

7. In lieu of the basic banking account required by this section, a
banking institution may make available an alternative account or other
banking services determined by the superintendent to be at least as
advantageous to consumers as the basic banking account.

8. (a) Where a banking institution posts in the public area of its
offices notice of the availability of its other consumer transaction
accounts, it shall also post equally conspicuous notice in such public
areas and in the same manner the availability of its basic banking
accounts. Where a banking institution makes available in such public
areas material describing the terms of its other consumer transaction
accounts, it shall also make comparable descriptive material available
in the same such areas and in the same manner for its basic banking
account.

(b) Where a banking institution posts in the public area of its
offices the notices for information required in paragraph (a) of this
subdivision, it shall also post equally conspicuous notice in such
public areas and in the same manner, of the department's toll free
consumer's hotline telephone number, where consumers can file complaints
if a consumer is not satisfied with the services a banking institution
provides.

9. For purposes of this section:

(a) "banking institution" means any bank, trust company, savings bank,
savings and loan association, or credit union, or branch of a foreign
banking corporation the deposits of which are insured by the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation, which is incorporated, chartered,
organized or licensed under the laws of this state or any other state or
the United States, and, in the ordinary course of its business, offers
consumer transaction accounts to the general public or, in the case of a
credit union, to its members;

(b) "consumer transaction account" means a demand deposit account,
negotiable order of withdrawal account, share draft account or similar
account used primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

10. For purposes of this section, any banking insititution which
offers share draft accounts shall use the term "basic share draft
account" instead of "basic banking account".

11. If any provision of this section, or the application of such
provision to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid, the
remainder of this section, and the application of such provisions
thereof to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is
held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.