Choosing a financial institution
Currently, Wisconsin Supreme Court rules allow attorneys to hold trust accounts in any IOLTA participating financial institution. Eligible IOLTA participating financial institutions pay interest rates on IOLTA accounts that are at least as high as the rates they pay to non-IOLTA customers holding accounts meeting the same minimum balance and other requirements; and remit the interest earned to WisTAF. Participation by financial institutions is optional.
To help lawyers and law firms determine a financial institution's current eligibility status, WisTAF has compiled a List of IOLTA Participating Financial Institutions and Prime Partners.
Prime Partner financial institutions are those that go above and beyond IOLTA participation requirements by choosing to pay interest rates on IOLTA accounts that are at least 50 basis points (0.50 percent) higher than required under the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s IOLTA interest rate comparability requirement. The additional interest results in more funding for civil legal aid in communities throughout Wisconsin and, in return, Prime Partners receive special recognition from WisTAF.
Since September 2007, the Federal Reserve has lowered the Federal Funds Target Rate from 5.25% to a range of 0.00% to 0.25%. Because the rates on many accounts are linked to the Federal Funds Target Rate, IOLTA revenue has decreased dramatically during that period. Attorneys and law firms can help sustain IOLTA and civil legal aid to low-income Wisconsinites by doing one of the following:
Bank at a Prime Partner financial institution.
If you do business with a non-Prime Partner, encourage the financial institution to become a Prime Partner by contacting the financial institution directly.