Friday, December 16, 2011

Changing Banks

We have our PTA bank account in a local branch of a national bank, and have used the same bank for many years.  Lately the bank has increased its fees significantly.  Can we change banks, and if so are there things we should watch out for.  

Of course you can change banks, but be sure to check your standing rules to see if they need to be changed first.  Sometimes a local unit or council’s standing rules will say something along the lines of “the PTA’s funds will be deposited in an account at such-and-such bank” and if that’s  the case they would need to be changed before actually opening a new account. 

Also, keep in mind that there are a number of different kinds of  financial institutions that offer the kinds of services that most PTAs need, so in addition to traditional banks you may want to look at credit unions, savings and loans or other kinds of financial services institutions.

Some things  to think about as you explore a new financial institution:  (1) safety (i.e. are your funds insured in case the financial institution encounters problems?); (2) services offered (i.e. will the institution provide duplicate bank statements, honor the PTA two-signature requirement, etc.); and (3) convenience (i.e. is it possible to make deposits and or engage in other transactions without having to travel long distances.)

More information about PTA accounts and money management in general is available in the Money Matters section of the Leadership Packet provided to your local unit at the beginning of the school year.  Money Matters is also available in the Leadership Resources section of the WSPTA website (password and user name provided in your Leadership Packets).