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Bar News - September 17, 2014

NH Bar Foundation News: Banks Joining NHís IOLTA Program

The number of financial institutions participating in NHís IOLTA program continues to grow. Since this spring, the following institutions now offer IOLTA accounts for NH lawyers.

Georgetown (MA) Bank
GFA Federal Credit Union
Heritage Family Credit Union
Haverhill Bank
Piscataqua Savings Bank
Newburyport Five Cents Bank

While New Hampshire lawyers have more than 40 participating banks to choose from, the interest rates banks pay vary widely. If you bank at one of the nine Leadership Banks paying 2 percent on IOLTA accounts, you know that your firmís deposits are earning the most they can to fulfill the Bar Foundationís mission of ďensuring meaningful access to the justice systemĒ for all. This small group of banks accounted for 55 percent of IOLTAís revenue last year. The Leadership Banks are:

Bank of New Hampshire
Centrix Bank
Community Guaranty Savings Bank
Mascoma Savings Bank
Meredith Village Savings Bank
Merrimack County Savings Bank
Northway Bank
Passumpsic Savings Bank
Sugar River Bank

A second group of banks earns special recognition for their decision to support interest rates of between 1 and 2 percent on IOLTA accounts. This group, known as Partner Banks, includes some banks of significant size, and we encourage attorneys to consider banks from this group as well:

Institution for Savings
Merchants Bank
NBT Bank
Piscataqua Savings Bank
Santander Bank
TD Bank
TD Bank Massachusetts
Washington Savings Bank

For some attorneys and law firms who arenít willing to consider changing their current banking relationships, another option is to talk to your bank about increasing its IOLTA rate. Explain that, as a lawyer, part of your professional obligation is to use your legal skills and knowledge to help the disadvantaged access the legal system.

The Bar Foundationís IOLTA program, through nearly $1 million in grants made last year, seeks to advance these goals through support for civil legal assistance programs that are innovative, efficient and tailored to the needs of NH citizens.

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