By the Division of Banks

Policies Regarding Opening New Accounts

Under Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 171, § 9, the by-laws of a credit union must provide for and determine the conditions on which shares may be paid in. In the event that the credit union's by-laws do not set a policy on the opening of accounts, there is no other specific requirement under Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 171, § 30 that an applicant be physically present. As a result, if the by-laws do not set a policy to the contrary, the credit union may open accounts for eligible applicants without requiring them to be physically present at the time of the application. However, a state-chartered credit union should also ensure that any policy on the opening of accounts effectively provides that all requirements of law are met, including eligibility for membership in the credit union, and protects against fraud conducted by prospective applicants on the credit union.