Basic Banking for Massachusetts


Basic Banking for Massachusetts was launched in 1994 as a product of our Banking Services Committee 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.

To learn more about Basic Banking for Massachusetts or to become a participating Financial Institution, contact Tom Callahan, Partnership for Financial Equity Executive Director at 857-309-3096 or


Banking Services Committee Co-Chairs

Jason Andrade, Director of Financial Services, Compass Working Capital

Lena Buteau, Vice President, Retail Administration Officer, Monson Savings Bank

2024 Banking Services Committee Meeting Dates (Virtual)

  • Thursday, March 14 from 9-10am
  • Thursday, June 13 from 9-10am
  • Thursday, September 12 from 9-10am
  • Thursday, December 12 from 9-10am

Click here to be included on the e-mail distribution list for our Banking Services Committee

2024 Basic Checking Account Guidelines

  • Requires no more than $25.00 to open the account
  • Charges no monthly fee
  • Provides unlimited free withdrawals

2024 Basic Savings Account Guidelines

  • Requires no more than $10.00 to open the account
  • Charges no monthly fee on account balances of $10.00 or more
  • Charges a monthly fee of no more than $1.00
  • Pays interest on all account balances of $10.00 or more

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, Partnership for Financial Equity 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, including in-network and out-of-network transactions.
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fee
  • 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.

To view a list of current Participating Financial Institutions, click here.