CUNA Comment Letter
CUNA Supports Proposed Changes in NCUA's Regulations on Advertising and Posting Notice of Nondiscrimination in Real-Estate Related Lending
June 25, 2001
Ms. Becky Baker
Secretary to the Board
National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428
VIA E-mail: email@example.com
Dear Ms. Baker:
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule that relaxes certain provisions in the National Credit Union Administrations (NCUAs) regulations concerning advertising and posting notice of nondiscrimination in real estate-related lending. As a national trade association, CUNA represents more than 90 percent of the nations 10,600 state and federal credit unions.
Currently, NCUA regulations provide that a federal credit union (FCU) must include notice of nondiscrimination through use of one particular logotype and legend in written and visual advertisements and one particular phrase in oral advertisements. The proposed rule would make the following changes:
- The proposal would replace the mandatory logotype and language with a general requirement that FCUs indicate that they do not discriminate on any prohibited basis -- race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familiar status.
- With respect to oral advertisements, a credit union may satisfy the notice requirement by a spoken statement that the credit union is an Equal Housing Lender-- or an Equal Opportunity Lender.-- The current rule requires the phrase Equal Housing Lender.--
- The current regulations also require display inside the FCU of an NCUA-developed poster giving notice of nondiscrimination compliance. The proposed rule would allow an FCU to display either the NCUA poster or similar poster prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- The current NCUA rule prohibits advertising with words, symbols, models, or other forms of communication that suggest a discriminatory policy or exclusion in violation of the Fair Housing Act. While the current rule also notes that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits discrimination for certain categories of persons, the proposal explicitly states that the ECOA requirements must also be met for advertisements.
CUNA commends the NCUA Board for proposing modifications to the rule to bring it more in line with the nondiscrimination advertising rules of other regulators. In our view, it is appropriate to allow FCUs the option of continuing to comply as they have in the past while at the same time allowing them the flexibility of using alternative logotype, language, and posters not previously available to them under the rule. CUNA also supports the guidance regarding oral advertisements. Further, based on credit unions comments, we do not believe the addition of express language requiring advertising to meet ECOA requirements will increase the compliance burden for FCUs. That is because credit unions already review their advertising concerning real estate-related lending to ensure that it complies with ECOAs prohibition on discrimination in granting credit on the basis of: marital status, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, marital status, age, receipt of welfare benefits, or exercise of any rights under the Consumer Protection Act. In sum, we believe giving FCUs a broader choice in what they may use in their advertisements and fair lending posters will make it easier for them publicize the credit unions commitment to equal credit opportunities for their members.
If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn at (202) 218-7769 or Senior Regulatory Counsel Catherine Orr at (202) 218-7794.
Mary Mitchell Dunn
Associate General Counsel
Catherine A. Orr
Senior Regulatory Counsel