The president/CEO of the $600 million Vermont State Employees Credit Union acknowledged Wednesday his credit union is in what he called “an amazing” pitched battle with the state and the banking lobby over use of the word “bank or banking” in its advertising.
Steven Post told Credit Union Times he has asked Thomas Candon, Vermont’s deputy commissioner of banking and the chief credit union supervisor, for more information about who brought the complaint about Vermont State ads that resulted in a cease-and-desist order against his credit union.
- UPDATE, Oct. 8, 2012, Vermont Credit Union, Regulator Settle 'B' Word Dispute
Post said Candon’s office has already denied the petition without explanation as the Montpelier credit union girds for a requested hearing on the June 18 order.
"We are getting support both from CUNA and the (Association of Vermont Credit Unions) and the next action for us is the hearing,” Post said.
Post said appeal papers were filed with the state on Monday and the request for information on the complainants were based on public information statutes.
“We’ve never been involved in something like this but we expect the state will move quickly and we’re looking for a hearing within four to six weeks,” Post said.
“We would like to find out the source of the complaints and of course we understand it is driven by the Vermont Bankers Association,” he said, calling the state’s action “an amazing interpretation of state law.”
Meanwhile, Chris D’Elia, the president of the VBA, said during the last session of the legislature ending in March the practice of using “bank” and “banking” came up in discussions with both the Association of Vermont Credit Unions and Candon but not much was done.
The issue has boiled over in recent weeks following new ads run by VSECU which hit on the bank theme, he said. “We just don’t know whether these ads will continue to run,” D’Elia said.
“They’ve spent a lot of money on those ads and they’ve gone way out on a limb in their use of ‘bank’ and ‘banking’ and so we think they may be buying time” in their decision to seek legal redress, he said.