NAFCU has been hearing from members that examiners are conducting website reviews as part of recent examinations. A credit union’s website can contain advertising content as well as impact other areas of compliance. Here are some things to consider if conducting a review is on your radar.
Keep in mind that federal regulations define advertisement quite broadly. For example, under Regulation Z, an ad is “a commercial message in any medium that promotes, directly or indirectly, a credit transaction.” NCUA’s Truth in Savings rule is similarly broad, as is NCUA’s general advertising rule. As a result, much of a credit union’s website could include content that federal regulation considers to be an advertisement. Below are several regulatory provisions that may impact a credit union’s website due to its advertising content:
- Use of the Official NCUA Sign and Advertising Statement – Section 740.4(a) requires credit unions to display the official sign “on its Internet page, if any, where it accepts deposits or opens accounts.” Section 707.5 requires a credit union’s website to state “federally insured by NCUA,” but this can be accomplished using the official sign. However, if a particular credit union page has information about investment-type products that are not insured, such as those offered through a CUSO, it could be problematic to include this information if it insinuates that uninsured products are insured.