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CU System
SCFCU seeks to exclude BTD brand from Vermont ban
CHARLESTON, S.C. (8/8/12)--South Carolina FCU (SCFCU) in Charleston, S.C., is drafting a letter to the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), seeking to use a phrase the credit union trademarked in November 2011 after Bank Transfer Day (BTD)--"Every day is Bank Transfer Day"--in Vermont.

Vermont DFR had issued a notice of intent to serve a cease-and-desist order to Vermont State Employees CU (VSECU) over the credit union's use of words "banking" and "[to] bank," which the regulator said would confuse consumers, who might not understand they are banking at a credit union rather than a bank (News Now Aug. 7).

SCFCU had the trademarked phrase --"Every day is Bank Transfer Day"--transferred to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), so every credit union nationwide could use it and roll it out as a "rallying cry," Troy Hall, SCFCU chief operations officer told News Now.

When Vermont DFR made its decision on the injunction to ban the words, SCFCU's attorney contacted the DFR to find out what the process is to appeal, and was told to send a letter, Hall said.

"We started rolling it [the phrase] out as a branding tool," Hall explained. "We want to see a national rallying cry because credit unions have been too long without a national presence in that regard. 'Every day is Bank Transfer Day' is that rallying cry that we need. It is not a marketing campaign."

October would be a great month to emphasize that cry because it can grab people's attention nationwide before they become focused on the presidential election in November, Hall said. See the link.

"The [Vermont] cease-and-desist order was made because bankers claim we are using [those words] in a deceptive manner," Hall said. "We want to make sure we can use [the BTD phrase] and make sure the trademark is not diminished. We want to make sure credit union can still use it so it will be a niche in the market place," he told News Now.
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