WASHINGTON-On the heels of the General Accounting Office's report (03-971) released earlier this year, the omnibus appropriations package for fiscal year 2004 includes language directing the Federal Trade Commission to enforce most of the credit union-related provisions in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act. Section 151 of FDICIA required privately insured credit unions to disclose in all of their advertising, on register receipts, on doors, at teller windows and various other places, the fact that they are not backed by the federal government. However, in more than a decade, Congress has not funded the enforcement of the provisions. The GAO report found that 37% of 57 randomly sampled privately insured credit unions did not have the proper disclosures displayed. "Based on these recommendations, the conference agreement revises language included in the House and Senate bills requiring enforcement concerning disclosure and annual independent audits, but maintains the prohibition of enforcement of section 43(e) concerning the eligibility of Federal deposit insurance," the language reads. FTC is also directed to consult with FDIC and NCUA to determine the manner and content of disclosure requirements and coordinate with state supervisors for enforcement. Also as a result of the study, American Share Insurance, the sole remaining private primary insurer of credit unions, is undergoing a second round of education on the disclosures for its members, something they did when the law was initially passed. CUNA, NAFCU, NCUA, and ASI all support the FTC's enforcement of the disclosure requirements. ASI President and CEO Dennis Adams said of the appropriation, "We don't find it much of anything other than the right thing to do."

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