FAIRWINDS Credit Union to Offer Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA)

New Capability to Expand Credit Union’s Business Service Offerings, Generate Charitable Funds

FAIRWINDS Credit Union announced that it will begin offering Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTAs) for attorneys and law firms. Interest generated from these accounts will be used to provide free civil legal assistance to the poor, improve the administration of justice and support students at Florida law schools.

While IOTAs are mandatory for all lawyers and law firms that hold nominal or short-term client funds, Florida credit unions have historically been unable to offer them to their members. For the first time, FAIRWINDS may provide its attorney members a holistic suite of banking services that meets all of a law practices’ business banking needs. With the addition of IOTA capabilities, attorneys will have access to a comprehensive online business suite that caters to the unique needs of their profession in addition to offering general services such as seamless online deposit, advanced treasury management and online wire capabilities.

“In offering Interest on Trust Accounts, we’re able to exemplify FAIRWINDS’ core values of exceptional service to our members and unfailing commitment to our community,” said Jorge Font, FAIRWINDS Credit Union senior vice president of business services. “By adding this product to our suite of business offerings, we’re better able to serve our attorney members. Furthermore, by offering an interest rate that is higher than market value for these accounts, we will generate even more funding for legal aid.”

Initially implemented by the Florida Supreme Court in 1981 (the first court in the country to do so), the IOTA program allows participating attorneys to pool nominal or short-term client and third-person trust funds that cannot practicably be invested for the benefit of the client. Since the program’s inception, U.S. IOTAs have generated hundreds of millions of dollars to help low-income people with civil legal matters such as landlord/tenant issues, child custody disputes and advocacy for those with disabilities.

Attorneys interested in opening an IOTA may visit www.fairwinds.org or contact FAIRWINDS’ Business Services department at (407) 277-5045.