Final Rule Summary: Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status

Prepared by NASCUS Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Department
April 2018

NCUA has amended Part 740, its advertising rule, to provide federally insured credit unions (FICUs) with more flexibility in the use of the official advertising statement. Part 740 applies to federally insured state chartered credit unions (FISCUs) by reference in Part 741.211. The new final rule:

  • Allows FICUs to use a new 3rd version of the official advertising statement, “Insured by NCUA”
  • Expands the official statement exemption for TV and radio advertising spots  from 15 seconds to 30 seconds
  • Eliminates the requirement for the inclusion of the official advertising statement on statements of condition required to be published by law.

The final rule may be read in its entirety here. The rule will be effective 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.  

Background

The Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA) requires FICUs to display NCUA’s “official sign.” By regulation, NCUA implements the FCUA by requiring FICUs include an official statement in their advertising and display an official sign on their premises.

Prior to the final rule, FICUs had 3 options for the official statement:

  • “This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration”
  • “Federally insured by NCUA”
  • As an alternative, the FICUs may use an image of the official sign

Under the “old” rule, the following advertisements did not need to include the official advertising statement:

  • Credit union supplies such as stationery (except when used for circular letters), envelopes, deposit slips, checks, drafts, signature cards, account passbooks, and non-insurable certificates
  • Signs or plates in the credit union office or attached to the building or buildings in which the offices are located
  • Listings in directories
  • Advertisements that don’t use the credit union’s name
  • Display advertisements in credit union directories, provided the name of the credit union is listed on any page in the directory with a symbol or other descriptive matter indicating it is insured
  • Joint or group advertisements of credit union services where the names of insured credit unions and noninsured credit unions are listed and form a part of such advertisement
  • Advertisements by radio and television that were less than fifteen (15) seconds (now 30 seconds under the new final rule)
  • Certain promotional materials such as calendars, matchbooks, pens, pencils, and key chains etc. that because of the size would be impractical to include the statement
  • Advertisements that contain a statement to the effect that the credit union is insured by the NCUA, or that its accounts and shares or members are insured by NUCA to the maximum insurance amount for each member or shareholder
  • Advertisements not relating to member accounts, such as advertisements relating to loans by the credit union, safekeeping box business or services, traveler's checks on which the credit union is not primarily liable, and credit life or disability insurance.

With the publication of the new final rule, credit unions have the option of using a third official statement “insured by NCUA” in their advertisements as well as the 4th option of including the official sign.

In addition, credit unions will no longer need to use the official statement in radio or television advertisements less than 30 seconds in duration. This increase from the 15 second exemption (established in 2011) to 30 seconds puts credit unions on par with FDIC/banking rules which create a 30 second exemption for banks.

The new rule eliminates the 2011 requirement that FICUs include the official statement on statements of condition required to be filed by law.

With respect to social media, NCUA determined that given the rapidly evolving nature of social media, it was best to defer making changes to the advertising rule regarding social media. 

4/23/18