Written by Steve Van Beek
As the January 1, 2012 compliance date approachs, we've seen a steady influx of questions related to the changes in NCUA's advertising regulations.
Part of the confusion stems from the terminology used in the regulation. Part 740 of NCUA's regulation discusses the "Official Sign" as well as the "Official Advertising Statement."
For example, Section 740.4(a) requires that the official sign be used at teller windows and on the credit union's main Internet page on Internet pages where the credit union accepts deposits or opens accounts (edited: Nov. 29 at 12:45 p.m.):
"§ 740.4 Requirements for the official sign.
(a) Each insured credit union must continuously display the official sign described in paragraph (b) of this section at each station or window where insured account funds or deposits are normally received in its principal place of business and in all its branches, 30 days after its first day of operation as an insured credit union. Each insured credit union must also display the official sign on its Internet page, if any, where it accepts deposits or open accounts, but it may vary the font sizes from that depicted in paragraph (b) of this section to ensure its legibility."
To meet this requirement, credit unions need to use the official sign itself.
For advertisements, credit unions have flexibility in disclosing the official advertising statement. Credit unions can use any of the following:
- The Official Sign
- The long version - "This credit union is Federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration"
- The short version - "Federally insured by NCUA"
That flexibility comes from 12 CFR 740.5(b). The credit union only needs to include one of these disclosures on its advertisements.
NAFCU Services Corporation, a subsidiary of NAFCU, has video ads for NAFCU-members. These ads can be customized for credit unions for $150.
Importantly, the ads have been updated to reflect the new advertising rule changes.
If you haven't seen the ads before, take a look and see if one or more might be of use for your credit union. For example, there are ads on the benefits of credit unions as well as ads describing the federally-insured status of credit unions. These might be useful for attracting new members and educating those new members of their insurance coverage.