PS&L and CapitalBank are making an impact

STATE — Pickens Savings & Loan and CapitalBank recently joined the South Carolina Bar Foundation to advance justice by improving access, education and accountability.
The banks have elected to go “above and beyond” by becoming Prime Partners. Prime Partner banks voluntarily pay higher interest rates on Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA). The South Carolina Bar Foundation receives the majority of its funding from IOLTA accounts. IOLTA makes it possible for low income South Carolinians to receive legal aid, youth to participate in law related education opportunities and the community to benefit from other justice-related endeavors.
Prime Partner banks, which currently pay 0.75 percent on IOLTA accounts, have a direct impact on the amount of money available to help low income South Carolinians with their civil legal issues. Legal aid offices assist in matters dealing with family, housing, employment and consumer law.
The South Carolina Bar Foundation has seen an 84 percent decline in IOLTA revenues since 2007 due to the impact of low interest rates. Prime Partners, such as CapitalBank and Pickens Savings & Loan, help to mitigate the decline in revenue available to fund valuable programs in South Carolina. Alex Gettys, President of Pickens S&L said, “We are always looking for ways to give back to our community. The Prime Partners Program is an excellent way to do that and we are pleased that we can participate.”
In the 2010 grant year, 9,700 low income South Carolinians received civil legal services. Just under 350 homeless men and women were aided in their time of need. More than 5,500 South Carolina students were reached through law related education initiatives. Another 1,494 children and 618 families got help though a guardian, volunteer or mediator. More than 3,840 people benefited from a clinic or phone bank. On paper these are just numbers, but each number represents a person — a mother — a father — a child — who received assistance from a grantee. Grantees also helped save $1.1 million in jail housing costs and made it possible for clients to generate $604,000 in wages. Lawyers, judges and other engaged citizens that participated in grantee services totaled approximately 2,600. For more information, visit