Ottawa says it is reviewing whether credit unions should be allowed to use the terms "banks," "banker" and "banking" after the federal regulator that oversees financial institutions ordered them not to.
In late June, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) issued an advisory prohibiting credit unions from using the terminology to describe their services.
The Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) called the move unfair, saying it would make it difficult for credit unions to compete fairly with banks.
The Finance Department said Friday it is seeking views on whether credit unions should be allowed to use "banking" and similar language when describing their services while still avoiding marketplace confusion and protecting consumers.
The announcement came as the department launched the second stage of consultations on a broader review of the financial sector, which started last August.
CCUA president Martha Durdin applauded the announcement, saying credit unions need to speak to the customers they serve in a way they can understand.
OFSI issued a statement saying it is suspending its order that credit unions remove any banking references from their websites by the end of the year, from print materials by June 30, 2018, and from signage by June 30, 2019.
The deadline to submit comment is Sept. 29.