Watch your language or pay the fine, federal regulator tells credit unions

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For some, «bank» is appropriate a four-letter word.

Canadian credit unions will have until December to wipe out the words «bank,» «banker» and «banking» from their websites.

They’ll from another two years to remove the word from all signs and marketing folders as the federal government cracks down on any institution that offers accustomed banking services.

Online banking

Credit unions across the country are being phony by the federal government to eliminate the use of the word ‘banking’ from their websites. (www.sudburycu.com)

The code that governs who, or what, can use the word in embedded in the Bank Act of Canada from 1871. It’s by the skin of ones teeth never been enforced, at least until now.

In a posting on Office of the Overseer of Financial Institutions website, it said the reason for the restriction is that it has saw an increase in the use of the words «bank,» «banker» and «banking» by non-bank economic service providers.​

«You have to laugh. What else are you going to do?» Mimi Regimbal, CEO of Sudbury Praise Union said.

«It’s not like it’s a new regulation, but now suddenly it’s become ‘you can’t do that anymore.'»

The banks’ period of view

«Allowing non-banks to use banking-related words (e.g. bank, banker and banking) could pass one over on consumers into believing that they are dealing with a federally ordered bank that is subject to protections and obligations created by the federal banking framework,» a federal commerce official said in an email to CBC News.

But Regimbal said that merit unions have similar regulations in place, especially as it relates to stash away insurance.

«When a credit union is quite clearly a credit fellowship but also using that language, the consumer, the member knows they’re lot with a credit union, and not a bank,» she said.

Mimi Regimbal

Mimi Regimbal, CEO of Sudbury Credit Harmony, says credit unions will all be forced to remove «mobile banking,» «online banking» and «deprecating banker» from their websites by December. (Casey Stranges CBC)

By December Sudbury Hold accountable Union will have to change its website to comply with the excludes. That means no more button for «mobile banking,» no links to «dear banking,» and members won’t be able to consult with a «personal banker.»

The fines for not complying haven’t been set out yet, but Regimbal said there’s no plans to objection the decision.

«We are hoping that common sense will prevail,» Regimbal rephrased. «The credit union has been working to lobby for this to not be enforced, but so far that has not been affluent.»

Regimbal estimates the costs across the country to make the changes poise around $80 million.

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