Federal and State Officials Order Resource One CU to Halt Safety Ads
WASHINGTON -- For the second time in less than a month, federal and state authorities have coordinated efforts to force a Texas credit union to stop running advertisements that the agencies say question the safety of deposits at banks.
The NCUA and Texas Credit Union Commissioner Harold Feeney ordered Resource One Credit Union in Dallas to cease and desist using an ad that says: "What is safer then money in the bank? Depositing it at Resource One Credit Union." Later in the ad, after touting its competitive rates and the fact that it is not beholden to Wall Street, the credit union said, "Your bank may be failing but Resource One is NOT! Don't take chances with your money."
The credit union is state charted and federally insured.
"Any ad that implies that there is a risk to federally-insured deposits is not acceptable. We are in touch with Resource One to solve these issues and we fully expect they will no longer be misrepresenting the safety of deposit insurance," Texas Credit Unions Commissioner Harold Sweeney said in an interview.
NCUA Chairman Michael E. Fryzel said in a letter to American Bankers Association President/CEO Edward Yingling, who had complained about the ad, that his agency and Sweeney's were working together to order Resource One "to desist from running this advertisement and any similar advertisements in the future."
Resource One CEO Jim Brinsendine did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Though Resource One's ad did not mention by name any banks that had failed recently, Yingling wrote Fryzel that it raises unnecessary fears about the stability of financial institutions.
"This inflammatory ad by Resource One Credit Union is little more than playing with matches in a room full of gunpowder," Yingling wrote (see Verbatim sidebar).
His letter came weeks after federal and state officials ordered another Texas credit union--Texas Dow Employees Credit Union in Lake Jackson--to stop using an ad that stated, "Banking crisis? Not at TDECU."
FDIC General Counsel Sara Kelsey wrote a letter of concern about that ad to the NCUA and to Feeney before the campaign was halted.