Websites have become a crucial part of credit union member service. In addition to providing an entry-point for online banking services, members can use the credit union website to find helpful information, open new accounts, apply for loans, and contact credit union representatives.
As technology continues to evolve, simple websites have turned into complex structures. Keeping them updated can pose a challenge, as they may contain hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of content. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if your website is small or large, it is still subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as other marketing materials. That is why it is important to maintain your website and frequently audit the content for accuracy and relevance.
If you are reviewing your website for compliance, here are two items that should be considered.
NCUA Official Advertising Statement/Sign
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) official advertising statement shows members that the credit union is insured by the NCUA. The NCUA requires credit unions to post their official advertising statement – or the NCUA official sign – on the main webpage of the credit union’s website and on every page that advertises federally insured deposit account products.
The official sign must be clearly legible and included on all pages where accounts can be opened or deposits are accepted, such as online banking. The official NCUA advertising statement is also required to be clearly visible on the page in a size and print that is no smaller than the smallest font size used on the related webpage.
Equal Housing Logo
The Equal Housing logo is used to display commitment to fair housing compliance. Specifically, the logo represents fair housing without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status.
The Equal Housing logo must be on all pages that advertise real estate-related loans. State-chartered credit unions should use the Equal Housing Opportunity logo, not the Equal Housing Lender logo. Both logos must be in a size and print that is clearly legible and – specific to the Equal Housing Opportunity Logo – in a size that is at least equal to the largest of the other logotypes included in the ad. If no other logotypes are used, the logo should be bold, and the display should be clearly visible.
There are a number of ways to ensure your website is compliant. One is to establish a formal review process and follow compliance checklists. Our best tip is to stay on top of all rules and regulations and to be proactive when ensuring your website is compliant with the guidelines the NCUA has in place. Your compliance officer or someone from the compliance team should review all website pages and content to ensure your credit union is covered from a regulatory perspective.
Websites are widely accessible, creating a window into the credit union’s products and services, which is why it is important that they remain up-to-date and compliant. Just as easily as members visit the credit union’s website, so too can examiners. Does your credit union have a strategy for keeping your website up-to-date?
Refer to the “Credit Union Website Compliance Checklist,” a handy tool that highlights key compliance items to consider on any credit union’s website. This checklist is a great starting point to ensure your credit union is compliant with the NCUA rules and regulations.