Digest: There is no ethical objection to a Surrogate’s Court maintaining its bank account in the bank in which the Surrogate owns a small block of shares, where the bank is designated by the Comptroller and not the Court.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2; 22 NYCRR 100.3(c)(1)(iii).
The Surrogate of an upstate county inquires whether the Surrogate’s Court may maintain a long-established bank account in a large publicly-held bank, in which the Surrogate owns a small block of common stock. The bank is designated by the State Comptroller, and the Surrogate’s only involvement with the bank account is a backup signatory.
This Committee sees no ethical objection to the Surrogate’s maintaining the Court’s official bank account in this bank, since the bank is designated by the State Comptroller. The question would be different, however, if the bank were to appear as a party before the inquiring Surrogate. See, Opinion 89-36, Vol. III, 22 NYCRR 100.3(c)(1)(iii).