Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
Section 2 of chapter 167D of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out subparagraph 1 and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
1. To receive deposits as authorized by sections 2 to 12, inclusive, and sections 21 and 31 and to receive demand, time and other types of deposits upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the depositor and the bank; provided, however, that a bank shall make available to a natural person 18 years of age or under or 65 years of age or older a demand deposit account and savings account which, in each instance, shall include a joint account in which the spouse of the eligible depositor, regardless of age, is the joint tenant therein or the joint tenant would otherwise be an eligible depositor, and which has been established and used for personal, family or household purposes, upon which no service, maintenance or other similar charge shall be imposed. Any such account shall not be subject to: (i) a minimum balance requirement, (ii) a charge for a check, deposit or withdrawal, or (iii) a fee for the initial order or subsequent refills of the basic line of checks offered by the bank, which shall include the name of the depositor. For the purposes of this section, the term “savings account” shall include a regular passbook, statement savings or regular NOW account, so-called. The commissioner shall, by regulation, establish the procedure whereby a person may demonstrate eligibility and apply for the account. A bank may, however, assess a fee for certain services in accordance with the bank’s published service charge schedule which shall include stop payment orders, wire transfers, certified or bank checks, money orders, and deposit items returned, transactions at electronic branches and through other electronic devices, and services not directly associated with the deposit, withdrawal or transfer of funds from any such account as may be approved by the commissioner; and that the bank may assess a reasonable charge, as determined by the commissioner, against any such checking account when payment on a check drawn on the account has been refused because of insufficient funds. A bank shall, in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, post in each of its banking offices a notice informing consumers of the availability of the banking services prescribed by this section. A law imposing liability for a violation of this section shall apply not to an act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with a rule, regulation or interpretation thereof by the commissioner, notwithstanding that after that act or omission has occurred, the rule, regulation or interpretation has been amended, rescinded or determined by judicial authority to be invalid.
Approved August 6, 2008