Bar News - December 17, 2014
NH Bar Foundation News: IOLTA Leadership Banks in NH Are on the Move
By: Dan Wise
The Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, the single-largest non-governmental source of funding for civil legal aid in New Hampshire, generates revenue through interest paid on lawyer trust accounts, which pool funds of small amounts or that are held for a very short time.
You Are Part of the Puzzle
Where you bank matters. When choosing an IOLTA bank, please consider a Leadership or Partner bank.
These banks offer between 1% and 2% on IOLTA accounts. In FY 2014, IOLTA accounts from the current nine Leadership Banks generated 56% of the total IOLTA revenue.
Our Leadership Banks are:
Bank of New Hampshire
Community Guaranty Savings Bank
Mascoma Savings Bank
Meredith Village Savings Bank
Merrimack County Savings Bank
Passumpsic Savings Bank
Sugar River Bank
A small group of community-minded banks pay higher-than-market interest rates and waive some fees on these accounts. Leadership Banks pay as much as 2 percent on IOLTA accounts; Partner Banks pay at least 1 percent.
Several of the NH Bar Foundationís Leadership Banks are going through some positive changes.
Centrix Bank recently was acquired by Eastern Bank. The merger and name change have resulting in a new identity for one of IOLTAís stalwart Leadership Banks. Bolstered in size by the acquisition (Eastern Bank has become a $9.5 billion bank with 102 branches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire), Eastern Bank is looking at expansion in New Hampshire and has promised to maintain its Leadership Bank status through 2015.
Sugar River Bank, a Leadership Bank since 2009, is branching out beyond its traditional territory in the Lake Sunapee/Sullivan County area by opening a branch in the spring of 2015 at 198 Loudon Road in Concord. The bank celebrates its 120th anniversary in 2015.
Mascoma Bank, which is based in the Upper Valley, has completed the acquisition of Connecticut River Bank. Mascoma, a Leadership Bank since 2002, adds 11 new branch offices and an expanded presence in northern New Hampshire and south along the Connecticut River valley.
Mascoma Savings Bank is based in Lebanon and has 18 branches stretching north to Lyme and Chelsea and south to Windsor. The bank also has offices as far east as Canaan and west in Bethel, Vt. Once the sale is closed, Mascoma will pick up northern offices in Littleton and Lancaster, and as far south as Keene. Connecticut River Bank, which is based in Charlestown, also has branches in Claremont, NH, and Springfield, Vt.
Mascoma will extend Leadership Bank interest rates to all of its Connecticut River Bank IOLTA accounts.
For more information about the IOLTA Program and the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, please visit www.nhbarfoundation.org.