By the Division of Banks

Permissibility Of Providing Courier Services

Under 209 CMR 47.00 et seq., state-chartered banks are permitted to establish and use a messenger service to transport items relevant to the bank's transactions with its customers without regard to branching limitations found in applicable State and Federal law, provided such service does not receive deposits, pay checks, or lend money. However, under the new regulations, such a bank may choose to employ an independent third party messenger service for the purpose of picking up from, and delivering to, customers items including deposits, check payments, and loan money without regard to other branching limitations. The Division of Banks agrees with the federal regulations at 12 CFR 7.1012 that a messenger service is clearly established by a third party: (i) if a party other than the bank owns the service and its facilities (or rents them from a party other than the bank) and employs the person engaged in the provision of service; and (ii) the messenger service makes its services available to the public, including other depository institutions; retains ultimate discretion to determine which customers and geographical areas it will serve; maintains ultimate responsibility for scheduling, movement and routing; does not operate under the name of the bank; and the bank and the messenger service do not advertise or otherwise represent that the bank itself is providing the service, although the bank may advertise that its customers may use one or more third party messenger services to transact business with the bank; assumes responsibility for the items during transit and for maintaining adequate insurance covering thefts, employee fidelity, and other in-transit losses; and acts as the agent for the customer when the items are in transit.

Other factors which the Division will consider include whether the bank deems items intended for deposit not to be deposited until credited to the customer's account at an established bank office or other permissible non-branch facility, or whether the bank deems items representing withdrawals to be paid when the items are given to the messenger service.