As far as "why"?....frankly, the lender would say "because we want their deposit accounts...why wouldn't we?"
I checked on one this morning and the borrower never opened an account with us anyway, so it's not anything that's even monitored.
Back to why.
There should be a solid business reason for everything you do. Normally, these reasons are outlined in policies and implemented with procedures that assure uniform application of policy. This is good business and the foundation for a manageable ECOA compliance program. Apparently, your lenders don't REALLY care about the deposit account--or they would monitor their customers' compliance with this requirement and take necessary steps to enforce it.
Why wouldn't you want token accounts without balance requirements?
a) they cost more to set up and service than they are worth, and
b) they can become an ECOA trap as Dan explains