Why was Banking Letter 50 removed from online publication by DFI? That’s the question posed by WBA after we learned DFI removed the letter from their website without any notice. As members may recall, DFI issued Banking Letter 50 on June 9, 2017.  The letter makes clear that the use of “bank” and “banking” by Wisconsin credit unions as a verb is and remains prohibited.

DFI originally issued the letter after WBA requested DFI issue cease and desist orders to three Wisconsin credit unions regarding their use of the word “bank.”

In the letters, WBA requested DFI issue an interpretation of the statute to make clear that use of the word “bank,” in any form, is a violation.

In response to our first letter, DFI assured WBA that credit unions were routinely reminded of the requirements of the statute and that the credit unions identified in our letter were contacted and agreed to discontinue offending activity.

However, WBA continued to receive more examples from members of violations of the law by additional credit unions.

WBA sent DFI a second letter underscoring the fact that DFI’s routine reminders were not effective, and renewing our request for cease and desist orders and an interpretation. The result was Banking Letter 50.

Now that letter has been removed without notice or explanation. WBA will share DFI’s reasoning behind the abrupt removal.