MONTPELIER, Vt. – A pre-conference hearing is scheduled for today in the legal battle between Vermont State Employees CU and the state’s Department of Financial Regulation over the use of the words “bank” and “banking.”

The conflict began after VSECU began referring to itself in advertisements last fall as a “banking cooperative.” The DFR says the credit union is prohibited from using the words “bank” and “banking,” because it is a credit union and not a bank, and has issued a cease-and-desist order requiring VSECU to stop using those words. VSECU and the DFR have butted heads over this issue in the past, but this is the first time courts have been involved. Earlier, a representative of VSECU told Credit Union Journal he believes the Vermont Bankers Association is behind the DFR’s complaint.

Today’s hearing is largely expected to focus on administrative details, with lawyers for each side discussing their cases and giving hearing officers a chance to determine how much time to set aside for further court proceedings.

A formal hearing could begin as early as next week.


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