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Basic Banking in New York State

Basic Banking in New York State


In 1994, New York State enacted the Basic Banking services law, codified in Section 14-f of the New York Banking Law. This law requires all New York State-regulated banking institutions, including commercial banks, savings banks, and credit unions, to offer consumers low-fee bank accounts that meet specific basic criteria.

The law allows banking institutions the flexibility to offer a DFS-approved low-fee product that is at least as advantageous to consumers as a Basic Banking account. Find a low-cost Basic Banking account available in your community below

DFS regularly examines banking institutions for compliance with Basic Banking requirements and continues to be committed to identifying measures to expand access to affordable banking services.

Basic Banking Requirements and Restrictions

No matter the name given to the type of low-fee account, all New York State-regulated banking institutions must offer a Basic Banking account that meets the account specifications laid out below.  


  • The initial deposit amount required to open the account cannot be more than $25. 
  • The minimum balance required to maintain the account is not more than $.01 (one cent).
  • The monthly charge for the maintenance of the account cannot be more than $3.00.
  • Account holders under sixty-five years of age are allowed at least eight withdrawals per month at no additional charge, and account holders sixty-five years of age or older are allowed at least 12 withdrawal transactions. Withdrawals can include checks, ATM withdrawals, and purchases using a debit card attached to the account.
  • There is no limit to the number of deposits that can be made to the account per month.
  • Banking institutions may offer low-fee accounts that are at least as advantageous for consumers. For example, banking institutions can offer 12 withdrawal transactions for $4 instead of eight withdrawal transactions for $3. 

New York State-regulated banking institutions are permitted to impose certain conditions on opening and maintaining a Basic Banking account


  • The banking institution may require an account holder to be a resident of New York State.
  • The banking institution can ask an account holder to provide the same information and identification that anyone else is asked to provide when opening an account at that banking institution. These requirements may vary across banking institutions.
  • The account holder may be required to close all other transaction accounts at that or any other banking institution. Account holders will be given a reasonable period of time (at least 60 days from the date the basic banking account is opened) to do so.
  • The banking institution may require an account holder use direct deposit, if it is available, for any recurring payments, such as Social Security payments, paycheck payments, pension payments, and more.
  • Fees and charges for services that are not included in the agreement may be charged to an account in the same way that the bank charges its regular account holders. For example, charges for printing checks, bounced checks, certified checks, debit purchases, using out-of-network ATMs, and more.

Bank On Certification

DFS permits its New York State-chartered banking institutions to offer the nationally recognized "Bank On" accounts as alternatives to Basic Banking accounts, provided they obtain national certification from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) and meet the Bank On National Account Standards.

DFS’s April 2022 Industry Letter outlines the requires features of Bank On accounts.

Finding an Account That's Right For You

Shop around for the basic low-cost checking account that is right for you since the services offered vary from bank to bank. Find out what the monthly maintenance fee is and how many transactions are allowed per month and compare them to your own monthly banking needs.

Pay careful attention to any monthly fees and/or per-transaction fees that the banking institution may charge if you go over your transaction limits.

Read and understand your agreement before signing. If you have any questions, sit down with someone at the banking institution and be sure that your questions answered to your satisfaction.

Products Offered by New York State-Chartered or Licensed Banking Institutions

Below are the Basic Banking product offerings from New York State-chartered or Licensed Banking Institutions, including links to website resources to learn more about these services.

Banking Institutions


* Updated October 1, 2023

File A Complaint

Consumers who believe a banking institution or Basic Banking product does not comply with New York State’s Basic Banking law may file a complaint with DFS.  Be aware that DFS may share a copy of your complaint with the company or individual you are reporting.

To get started or to add information to an existing complaint, visit the secure DFS Portal to file an online Consumer Complaint Form about a banking institution or other financial service or product.

Related Guidance and Resources