Back to News Room

Bank of New Hampshire’s “Stepping Stone” Account Receives National Certification by Banking Advocates as Safe, Affordable Account

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s Bank On National Account Standards Certification of Stepping Stone indicates that it meets over 25 features for safe and affordable consumer transaction accounts.

Laconia, New Hampshire – May 12, 2022 – Today Bank of New Hampshire announced that its Stepping Stone account was officially certified by the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards (2021 - 2022). The national safe account Standards, co-created by consumer advocates, leading national nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and other financial institutions, designate both core and strongly recommended features that ensure low cost, high functionality, and consumer safety.

Key features of the Stepping Stone account include being free for account holders under the age of 23 or a monthly cost of only $5, no overdraft or nonsufficient fund fees, the ability to pay bills and make purchases, and federal deposit insurance. Stepping Stone is available in every one of Bank of New Hampshire‘s 21 offices across New Hampshire and 24/7 through their online account opening at BankNH.com.

“We are proud to partner with the Bank On coalitions, locally-led partnerships between local public officials; city, state, and federal government agencies; financial institutions; and community organizations that work together to help improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families in our communities,” said Cheri Caruso, EVP - Chief Technology, Digital Banking & Operations Officer for Bank of New Hampshire. “Our new Stepping Stone checking account was developed specifically for this purpose and provides a low fee, no overdraft charges, product options with digital features such as online banking and bill payments.”

“The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund is delighted to award its national Bank On account certification to Bank of New Hampshire‘s Stepping Stone account,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Stepping Stone offers New Hampshire residents who are looking to improve their finances a safe, affordable, and truly useful mainstream banking product– this is especially important during COVID-19, as consumers need to access and manage their money both affordably and safely. Bank of New Hampshire’s offering of this terrific account brings them into the forefront of national banking access efforts, and we thank them.”

The goal of Bank On is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services. The Bank On National Account Standards identify critical product features for appropriate bank or credit union accounts, making it easier for local coalitions across the country to connect consumers to accounts that meet their needs.

With the addition of Bank of New Hampshire’s Stepping Stone account, accounts that meet Bank On National Account Standards are now available at over 39,000 branches in all 50 states and Washington, DC; financial institutions with Bank On certified accounts already comprise over 52% of the national deposit market share. In addition to Stepping Stone, there are over 180 other Bank On certified accounts available at financial institutions across the country. Data collected by the CFE Fund in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis through Bank On’s national reporting platform shows that these accounts are meeting consumers’ needs; since their offering, millions of consumers have opened Bank On certified accounts, with approximately 85% of them opened by consumers new to the financial institutions.

Bank of New Hampshire is proud to be offering Stepping Stone as we aspire to remain an independent mutual financial institution, delivering innovative solutions and exceptional service, while assisting our employees, customers and communities to build brighter futures.

The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting 90 local coalitions working to connect individuals and families to the financial mainstream through partnerships between governments, financial institutions, and community organizations. To learn more about Bank On and the National Account Standards click here, or follow the conversation on Twitter @CFEfund #BankOn.

About Bank of New Hampshire

Bank of New Hampshire, founded in 1831 provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout New Hampshire and southern Maine. With 21 banking offices and assets exceeding $2 billion, Bank of New Hampshire is the oldest and one of the largest independent banks in the state. Bank of New Hampshire is a mutual organization, focused on the success of the bank’s customers, communities and employees, rather than stockholders.  For more information, call 1.800.832.0912 or visit www.BankNH.com. Member FDIC.

About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)

The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is currently working in over 100 cities and counties, and has disbursed over $55 million to local governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.

About Bank On

Bank On coalitions are locally-led partnerships between local public officials; city, state, and federal government agencies; financial institutions; and community organizations that work together to help improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families in their communities. The Bank On national initiative builds on a grassroots movement of over 90 coalitions in cities across the country, offering national account standards, capacity grant support, pilot funding, and a learning community. In addition to connecting unbanked individuals to accounts, Bank On programs raise public awareness, target outreach to the unbanked, and expand access to financial education. Visit www.cfefund.org/bankon for more information, or follow the conversation on Twitter @CFEFund #BankOn. 


For media inquiries, contact:

Tiffany Baert

Vice President - Marketing Officer
(603) 527-3270
mailto:tbaert@banknh.com?subject=PR%20Inquiry