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Still Relevant: Website Compliance

I had the occasion this past week to spend time with marketing folks to discuss compliance issues, and was reminded that website compliance is still a good thing to revisit from time to time. So, the following checklist is designed to get you thinking about key issues to consider when developing your own website compliance checklist. Please keep in mind this checklist is provided as an overview of these issues. It’s important that your credit union staff, vendors, counsel, etc. have in-depth knowledge of these areas.

Use of Logos and Pictures

  • Do any pages have materials with copyrights, trademarks, or service marks (including photos or drawings)? Make sure you have appropriate approvals to use or link to these materials.
  • Is the NCUA advertising statement—or its short version, accompanied by the NCUA logo—on all pages advertising deposit account products? (§740.5 of NCUA Rules and Regulations)
  • Is the Equal Housing logo on all pages advertising real estate-related loans?
  • Are there pictures or drawings of human images? Look at the entire site for the possibility of encouraging some types of applications and discouraging others on any prohibited basis (§701.31 of NCUA Rules and Regulations and §1002.5 of Regulation B)

Disclosures and Notices

  • Is your privacy notice conspicuous and easy to find? Does it match the Board approved notice/policy?
  • Review any pages offering loan products to ensure compliance with Regulation Z requirements. Check for the use any trigger terms that require the need for additional disclosures Also, make sure any related disclosures are noticeable, either by including them on the same screen, or providing a clearly marked link to them (§1026.16 and §1026.24 of Regulation Z).
  • Review any pages promoting deposit accounts to ensure compliance with Truth in Savings requirements. Pay particular attention to triggering terms, as well as use of the word “free.” (§707.8 of NCUA Rules and Regulations)
  • Be sure that your site advertises terms that will actually be available, especially when rates are increasing or decreasing.
  • Are other disclosures presented in a clear and conspicuous manner

General

  • Are there links to third parties? If so, do the links imply endorsement of third party products or services? Have you reviewed the security and privacy policies of the linked third parties?
  • Do calculators and links operate accurately?
  • Has all information been through an advertising clearance process (review) before posting?
  • Keep in mind that if your credit union has a transactional website (e.g., home banking, online applications, remote deposit capture), a whole new can of compliance worms is opened, such as Bank Secrecy Act (e.g., Member Identification Program, Suspicious Activity Reports), OFAC, rules regarding accepting applications, delivery of account or loan disclosures, compliance with E-Sign provisions, and providing check hold notices.

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