NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa–A credit union that is being forced to change its name by state lawmakers has settled on a new moniker. The $5.3-billion University of Iowa Community Credit Union said it plans to change its name to GreenState Credit Union.
As CUToday.info reported here, in 2018 Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill that bars credit unions from using public university names in their titles. That legislation has been driven by several members of the Iowa Board of Regents who had expressed specific concerns regarding University of Iowa Community Credit Union and the misconception by some that it is affiliated with the university. As CUToday.info earlier reported, Regent Larry McKibben, who has been the loudest voice among the Regents saying he is concerned over the credit union’s name, did not disclose he is also part-owner of Farmers Savings Bank in Marshalltown.
In addition to UICCU, the new policy also affects University of Northern Iowa Credit Union. Iowa’s bankers have been particularly aggressive at attacking credit unions in the state legislature, with the state’s CUs defeating a tax bill in 2018.
Thousands of Names Proposed
University of Iowa Community CU President/CEO Jeff Disterhoft has sent an email to its 525 employees and with the 140,000 of its 190,000 members for which it has email addresses news of the name change, according to the Gazette.
That email noted the new law and the April 30 deadline it had been given to comply.
The Gazette reported UICCU said it has sought to be transparent throughout the name-change process, with a committee of approximately 20 staff, members and board representatives having whittled down some 2,000 suggestions for the new name to two-to-three, which were then submitted to trademark attorneys for review. GreenState Credit Union was chosen as the name and trademark application has been filed.
Inspiration For Name
According to the email, inspiration for the new brand came from a member “who shared their feelings when flying back to the State of Iowa after a long time away,” Disterhoft said, the Gazette reported.
There are no other credit unions in the U.S. that use the GreenState name, although there are CUs named Green Acres, Green Country, Green Island, Green Mountain, Green River and Green River Basin, and Green Tree, among others, according to NCUA.