Wells Fargo Joins IOLTA Honor Roll

Maryland Legal Services Corporation and the Maryland State Bar Association are pleased to welcome Wells Fargo & Company to the IOLTA Honor Roll. The Honor Roll, a joint project of MLSC and the MSBA, recognizes financial institutions that go above and beyond legal requirements and pay favorable interest rates on interest on lawyer trust accounts (IOLTA).

Through the IOLTA program, attorneys place nominal and short-term funds into a commingled escrow account that can generate interest income. Financial institutions send this interest income to MLSC for grants to programs that provide civil legal services for low-income Marylanders.

Wells Fargo’s support comes at a vital time. MLSC, Maryland’s largest funder of civil legal aid, is facing a precipitous decline in IOLTA income. In response to the pandemic, the Federal Reserve cut the federal funds target rate to near 0%, echoing levels seen during the Great Recession.

“The leadership of Wells Fargo at this time of low interest rates translates into thousands of Marylanders receiving critical assistance that would otherwise be unavailable,” said Susan Erlichman, MLSC’s executive director. “Financial institutions that participate in the Honor Roll – and the attorneys who bank with them – play a key role in supporting important legal services.”

“The services funded through IOLTA and provided by MLSC grantees – including help with eviction, foreclosure, domestic violence and more – will be critical in helping Marylanders recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Erlichman said.

“Wells Fargo supports and is happy to participate in the Maryland Legal Services Corporation Honor Roll Bank program,” said Jeff Dean, SVP for Wells Fargo. “Their mission to support the provision of critically needed legal aid to Marylanders unable to afford such services aligns with our broader commitment to serve and support the communities in which we do business. Especially during these unprecedented times, we are honored to support MLSC grantees who will play a role in providing services that will help the community in its recovery.”

“The MSBA is proud of our partnership with MLSC and very pleased to announce this commitment by Wells Fargo,” said Victor Velazquez, executive director of the MSBA. “Wells Fargo is making a strong statement for the importance of IOLTA funding and they’re to be commended. We welcome them to the Honor Roll.”

To learn more about the IOLTA Honor Roll and see a complete list of members, visit our IOLTA Honor Roll page.