“The recent decision by the State of Vermont Department of Financial Regulation ordering the Vermont State Employees Credit Union to stop using words such as ‘bank’ and ‘banking’ in its marketing, communications and advertising begs the question, are you really serious?” asks NCUA Board member Michael Fryzel in a letter-to-the-editor published in the Credit Union Times.
Fryzel goes on to argue that “banking is what credit unions do and in some cases they do it better than financial institutions with bank in their name.” Like other words in the English language, Fryzel points out, “bank” has become commonplace and generic to describe “where one engages in receiving, lending, exchanging and safe-guarding money.”
“Whether it’s done at a place that uses ‘bank’ in its name or one that calls itself a savings and loan or perhaps at a credit union, it’s all one and the same,” Fryzel states.
To the credit unions in the state of Vermont, Fryzel states, “I am from NCUA, and we can help.”
“Federally chartered credit unions can use terms like ‘bank’ and ‘banking’.”
As you may know, the New Jersey Credit Union League uses the term “banking” to promote its member credit unions in its cooperative “Banking You Can Trust” ad campaign across the state. NJCUL supports the Vermont credit unions and NCUA Board member Fryzel in their opposition to the regulator cracking down on the use of this commonplace term.
“I applaud Board Member Fryzel for publicly confronting the ridiculous attempt to ban credit unions from using ‘bank’ and ‘banking’ in Vermont,” said NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile. “'Banking' instantly tells consumers what it is that credit unions do. We’re certainly not banks, but we offer ‘banking’ services and have been doing so for 100 years. ‘Trust’ is our value proposition as nonprofit cooperatives. We will continue to aggressively promote ‘Banking You Can Trust’ in the New Jersey market.”
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