Probably the most common website compliance mistake is forgetting or not knowing that the information you place on your website about your products and services are considered advertisements for regulatory compliance purposes. This means on every page where you talk about share products you need to be aware of whether you have stated a term that triggers the need for additional disclosures. The same is true for every page of your website where you talk about your loan products. Again, you need to be aware of the trigger terms that may require that additional disclosures be provided. In short, it can truly be a minefield for the unwary.
While there are a multitude of compliance issues that arise on the average financial institution’s website, the most common website compliance mistakes tend to be in the following areas:
- Failing to include the NCUA or FDIC insurance information or logo on your home page AND on EVERY page where you provide information about your share and/or deposit account offerings;
- Failing to provide the Equal Housing Lender logo on EVERY page where you provide information about real estate-related loan products. This includes pages that provide information about loans not secured by real estate, but that are designed to be used for home improvement purposes;
- For closed-end loans, failing to provide a minimum payment amount if the page provides the term of the loan. For example, if your web page provides information, either including a rate schedule, about the repayment terms (i.e. up to 60 months) for a closed-end loan, Regulation Z requires that you also provide the corresponding payment amount and APR;
- Failing to provide any required disclosures that may be triggered by terms on the webpage either on the same web page or through a clear and conspicuous and appropriately titled link to a second page that provides all required disclosures. In other words, it is not permissible to provide a link that takes the consumer to a second page that provides some of the required disclosures and a link to a third page that provides the balance of the disclosures. All required disclosure must be no more than one page away; and
- Failing to provide required the required disclosure when you link to another party’s website.
The list can go on and on, but this should give you an indication of the many compliance issues that must be addressed when designing and reviewing your website for potential compliance violations. Request your free copy of our website self-assessment tool today.