By the Division of Banks

Limitations On Bank Deposit Contracts

It is the position of the Division of Banks that the relationship between a bank and a proposed customer seeking to establish a deposit account is voluntary and fundamentally a contractual matter. Such relationships may be initiated "upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the depositor and the bank...," pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 167D § 2(1). Accordingly, a bank in stock or mutual form may decline to enter into a deposit relationship with any individual or person as long as such denial is not based on the proposed depositor's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and other protected classes without violating the equal protection clause of the Massachusetts Constitution. See Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 151B § 3(6); see also 12 CFR 202.2(z) (Regulation B). The Division continues to view this general rule as applicable to any deposit account including certificates of deposit. In addition, it remains the position of the Division that neither the Massachusetts Constitution nor any other Massachusetts law under the Division's jurisdiction would be violated by such bank practices regardless of whether the individual or entity seeking to establish any such deposit account resided in the Commonwealth or any other location in a bank's market area or delineated community for purposes of the Community Reinvestment Act.