Note: If you are unable to open a bank account without documentation that you have registered your committee with the CFB, please see step 3 under Getting Started.
If you have previously run for an elected office covered by the Campaign Finance Program (mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president, or City Council member), you must open a new committee and bank account for each election cycle. Program participants may only register one authorized committee per election cycle.
To assist candidates in choosing a bank that provides the documentation and services your committee will need to stay in compliance and receive public funds (if applicable), the CFB has compiled a list of the five banks most commonly chosen by campaigns in the 2021 election cycle (last citywide election cycle) based on financial disclosures and information provided by campaigns. These five banks are listed below in alphabetical order:
During prior election cycles, these banks offered the features and services listed below to meet your documentation requirements and securely receive public funds payments. Note: These banks may have changed their offered services since the 2021 election, and services can also differ by branch. Confirm the information below with your local bank branch before opening your committee bank account:
- ACH Transactions: ACH transactions allow campaigns to issue refunds at a lower cost than bank or certified checks and provide for any over-the-limit or prohibited contributions to be refunded in real-time.
- FedWire Participants: Banks need to be FedWire participants to set up direct deposit, which is the fastest and most secure way to receive public funds payments. The CFB can issue public funds only via the Federal Reserve. Confirm that your bank’s routing number can receive FedWire transfers from the CFB.
- Debit Card: Using a debit card is the most convenient way to track all purchases.
- Check Images: Ensure the bank provides images of both the front and back of canceled committee checks. If your bank offers online banking, make sure you will have access to the scanned images of both sides of all checks.
- Online Banking: Online banking systems allow campaigns to store and retrieve records whenever necessary, which reduces or eliminates the need for copying and storing paper statements. All campaigns are required to submit PDF copies of their monthly bank statements.
- Mobile Deposits: Mobile deposits allow campaigns to deposit checks without visiting a bank. Most banks allow users to access these check images online, reducing the need for copying and storing check images.
- Itemized Deposit Slips: Campaigns are required to submit itemized deposit slips for all contributions, even for deposits done via mobile device.
Updating your Committee Bank Account
All campaigns must abide by the rules of the CFB and disclose all financial information that occurs before, during, and after the election. Keeping your committee bank account information up to date on your registration is one of the most important disclosure requirements with the CFB.
Before Closing your Committee Bank Account
If your campaign changes bank accounts during the election cycle, ensure all payments have been cleared from the original account and obtain all bank records. This includes account statements, itemized deposit slips, and copies of the front and back of canceled committee checks. The campaign must also obtain a letter stating the closed date and the bank balance. When ready, upload these records to the Bank Records section in C-SMART and submit them with the upcoming disclosure statement filing.
To move funds from your old bank account to your new bank account, your bank may issue a wire transfer. This transaction must be listed on the bank statements of your old and new bank accounts. Do NOT withdraw the funds in cash.
Opening a new Committee Bank Account & Setting up Direct Deposit
Once you open the new bank account, update the Bank Account section of your registration in the CFB Portal. First, enter the Closed Date for the previous bank account. Next, create an entry for the new bank account and enter your information, including the Opened Date and Account Balance. If you joined the Matching Funds Program, you must also set up direct deposit for your new account by providing a copy of a voided committee check or a direct deposit authorization letter from your bank. You can upload a copy of the voided committee check/direct deposit authorization letter in this section of your registration.
Note: If your bank provides a direct deposit authorization letter, it must contain the following information: Account Title (Committee Name), Account Type, Account Number and ABA Routing Number.
After updating your registration, complete the identity verification process to submit this information to the CFB. Both the candidate and treasurer will need to complete the identity verification process.
Note: All campaigns are required to disclose the date their committee bank account closed in the CFB Portal.
Post-Election Tasks & Winding Down your Committee Bank Account
If you are closing a committee during the post-election period, review our post-election bank balance and fundraising page for guidance. Our post-election information page also provides a checklist and best practices for staying compliant during this period. For more information on best practices for winding down a committee bank account, review page 92 of the Handbook.
Disclaimer of Endorsement or Warranty
Any reference on this webpage to any person, organization, product, or services related to such person or organization, or any linkages from this web page to another party, do not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, the City of New York, or any of its employees or contractors acting on its behalf. It is the campaign’s responsibility to verify and investigate providers and services. The information provided above is for general information purposes only. All information is provided in good faith, however, the New York City Campaign Finance Board makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, quality or completeness of any information on the webpage or services or product of any person or organization mentioned on the webpage. The New York City Campaign Finance Board assumes no responsibility for consequences resulting from the use of the information, or from the use of the information obtained at linked Internet addresses, or in any respect for the content of such information, including (but not limited to) errors or omissions, and ownership of copyright or other intellectual property.
Updated as of May 2023