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Organizational.BankAccountr1.5 - 02 Nov 2007 - 21:44 - BenScotttopic end

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Now that we're a real LegalEntity, we're supposed to get a bank account.

Banking needs

We're basically just looking for a checking account. Doesn't have to earn interest. Don't care about bells-and-whistles. We just need a place to put a (very) little money, and the ability to write checks against that.

Bank selection criteria

  • Must be fee-free; we cannot afford anything else
  • At least one local branch; the more, the better
    • "Local" means something different to Nashua LUG than to Hanover LUG: grudging, we might work with a bank with only one location in Manchaster; ideally, we'd have a bank within a short commute to every town.
      • Yes, that's what "at least one local branch" means. At least one branch local to a LUG. "the more, the better" means more branches local to LUGs is better. -- BenScott - 03 Nov 2007
  • Should be friendly towards non-profit orgs
  • Good customer service is always a plus

Formal requirements checklist

  • our qualifications
    • NH registered non-profit
    • no IRS 501(c) status as of yet
  • features
    • two-signature checks?
      • is signature authorization enforced?
    • pool of possible signatories?
    • option to waive any interest?
  • account requirements and costs
    • how much do checks cost?
    • minimum balance?
    • initial fees?
    • reoccurring fees?
    • transaction limits/costs?
    • other requirements/costs?
  • procedure to open account?
    • everyone in person vs one guy couriering forms
    • documentation needed?

Candidates

Big banks

  • In general, these tend to have:
    • Poorer customer service
    • More branches/ATMs
    • More sophisticated services available (but we are unlikely to need any)
  • Bank of America
    • All published options charge fees
  • Citizen's Bank
    • Branches include: Nashua, Portsmouth, Concord, Lebanon, Milford (not Peterborough), Keene, Lincoln (not Littleton), North Conway (not Jackson), Colebrook, Berlin
    • "Business Green Checking" supposedly fee-free
  • TD BankNorth
    • Branches include: Concord, Contoocook, Conway, Dover, Keene, Laconia, Loudon, Manchester, Milford, Nashua, Salem
    • Non-profit option supposedly fee-free
    • We could park in the "Bank Customers Only" lot next to Martha's wink
  • Ocean National Bank
    • Branches in southern NH; affiliates in ME, VT, and ME
      • Including: Amherst, Concord, Dover, Exeter, Keene, Manchester, Milford, Nashua, Peterborough
      • Nothing North of Concord, though
    • For non-profit org: No monthly fee; large number of free transactions; no minimum balance; two-signature checks

Local credit unions

  • In general, these tend to have:
    • Better customer service
    • Fewer branches/ATMs
    • Some form of membership requirement (but sometimes quite easy)
  • St. Mary's Bank
    • Open to anyone in NH
    • "Community Checking" plan is supposedly fee-free and interest-bearing, though interest could be waived.
    • Home in Manchester; branches in Manchester (3), Nashua, Hudson, Londonderry, Milford
    • Member, CO-OP and SUM ATM networks
    • Web site has trouble in Firefox
  • Triangle Credit Union
    • Requirement: Residence; Merrimack county qualifies
    • "Non Profit Checking" supposedly fee-free
    • Home in Nashua; branches in Manchester and Amherst
    • Several own ATMs in Nashua/Manchester area
    • Member, CO-OP ATM network
  • Granite State Credit Union
    • Open to anyone in NH
    • "Community Checking" is supposedly fee-free for non-profits
    • Branches in Nashua, Manchester, Amherst, Candia, Seabrook
    • Member, SUM and CO-OP ATM networks
  • Northeast Credit Union
    • Open to anyone in NH
    • Home in Portsmouth; branches in Manchester, Concord, Exeter, more
    • Several own ATMs in areas served by branches
    • Member, SUM and CO-OP ATM networks
    • Published services would involve fees, but no mention of non-profit org plan

Disqualified


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