Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed the state’s budget bill into law. This bill carries an amendment stating that credit unions "shall not include the name of any public university located in the state in its name.” This requires University of Iowa Community Credit Union (UICCU) to change its name by April 30 of next year. The UICCU Board of Directors met on June 9th and voted unanimously to comply with the law and move forward with the change.
UICCU will keep members notified each step of the way during the process, starting with answers to some of the anticipated questions.
- Why is the UICCU changing its name? Governor Kim Reynolds signed the state budget bill into law in June. The bill included an amendment that requires UICCU to change its name.
- When will the name change occur? We are working toward the legal deadline of April 30, 2019. On this date we are required to have a new name in place for our Articles of Incorporation. The actual change to signage, documents, etc will likely occur late summer of 2019.
- What is the history of our name? Our cooperative was established in 1938 as the State University of Iowa Hospital Employees Credit Union. It was created to serve the staff of the University hospital. In 1966 it expanded to serve all staff, students, and alumni when it became the University of Iowa Credit Union. In 1988, the word “community” was added to the name when UICCU expanded its charter to serve residents that were not necessarily tied to the University of Iowa.
- Since becoming a community-chartered credit union in 1988, what percentage of our 175,000 members are NOT connected to the University of Iowa (as staff, students, or alumni)? We estimate that figure to be about 75%.
- What happens between now and April? A diverse group of roughly 20 members, board members, and staff formed a name change committee in June to gather and vet possible names. Over 2,000 ideas were collected from UICCU members. After the committee and trademark attorneys narrowed down the list, it presented 3 to 5 trademark-vetted options to the Board of Directors for consideration. The selected name is then registered for the name and logo trademark. Once it has a “green light” from the attorneys, it will be announced to the membership (estimated to occur in February/March).
- Do the members need to vote to approve the new name? Current Credit Union law does not require a membership vote for a name change.
- What guidelines will you follow in creating the name? We will develop a name that is simple and not geographically constraining. We will work to create a name that is welcoming and reflects the cooperative’s Midwestern heritage.
- Will a name change inhibit our success? UICCU measures “success” by
- how much we give back to our members,
- how well we support our communities,
- and how well we provide for our staff.
- What will the name change cost the cooperative? We are very early into this process, but we estimate the cost of a name change (signage, documents, collateral material, card plastics, trademarks, communications, etc.) to be roughly $2.5 million. For perspective, this estimate is 0.9% of our projected annual revenue.
- Will the change impact the products, services, staffing, pricing or locations of the UICCU? No. This will be a change in name only. There will not be a change to staff, branches, products, or member account numbers. There will be no need to order new debit cards, credit cards, or checks.