1st National Bank of Scotia Receives National Certification By Banking Advocates for 1st Checking As Safe, Affordable Account

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 -- 1st National Bank of Scotia is pleased to announce that its 1st Checking Account was officially certified by the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund  (CFE Fund) as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards (2023-2024). The national safe account Standards, co-created by consumer advocates, leading national non-profit organizations, civic leaders, and other financial institutions, designate both core and strongly recommended features that ensure low cost, high functionality, and consumer safety.

BankOn Announcement

Key features of 1st Checking include a monthly cost of only $5, no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees, the ability to pay bills and make purchases, and federal deposit insurance. 1st Checking is available at any one of 1st National Bank of Scotia’s 10 branches across the Capital Region.

“1st National Bank of Scotia is proud to join the CFE Fund’s nationally recognized effort to provide an affordable bank account to individuals who have not traditionally had equal opportunity to participate in even the most basic of services available within the financial marketplace, said John Buhrmaster, president and CEO, 1st National Bank of Scotia. “The 1st Checking Account is a vital component of fulfilling our mission to provide access to the services and tools necessary for building strong financial life skills and achieving financial success equally to all members of our community. It’s about the core belief in being a dedicated, responsible community partner and being committed to making people’s lives better. It’s what we do.”

“The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund is delighted to award its national Bank On account certification to 1st National Bank of Scotia’s 1st Checking Account,” said Jonathan Mintz, president and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “1st Checking offers Capital Region residents who are looking to improve their finances a safe, affordable, and truly useful mainstream banking product to access and manage their money. 1st National Bank of Scotia’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 1st Checking, accounts that meet Bank On National Account Standards are now available at over 46,000 branches in all 50 states and Washington, DC; financial institutions with Bank On certified accounts already comprise over 56% of the national deposit market share. In addition to 1st Checking, there are almost 350 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 80% of them opened by consumers new to the financial institutions.

The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting almost 100 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 1st National Bank of Scotia
1st National Bank of Scotia is an independently owned and operated bank located in the Capital Region of New York State. Founded in 1923, 1st National is proud to provide creative financial solutions and personalized customer service to generations of families and businesses. For more information please visit

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 $59 million to local governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit 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 almost 100 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 for more information, or follow the conversation on Twitter @CFEFund #BankOn.