- Beginning January 2015, Bob Quentin became President of Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution. CEO Kevin Savage will retire in May 2017. (Mainebiz 1.22.2015)
- Mobile banking redefines traditional banking needs. (New York Post 1.25.2015)
- New Hampshire state Banking Department and the FDIC are reviewing Bedford, NH’s Primary Bank’s applications to form a new bank. (NHBR 1.23.2015)
- Scammers posing as IRS trick Mainers to send money. (Sun Journal 1.27.2015)
- A holding company formed by Mechanics Savings and Biddeford Savings seeking approval from regulatory agencies. (PPH 2.4.2015)
- Attorney General Janet Mills announces that Maine will receive $21.5 million from Standard & Poor in settlement for unfair and deceptive trade practices. (BDN 1.4.2015)
Debit card fees dispute between retailers and Federal Reserve will not be heard by Supreme Court. (Central Maine 1.20.2015)
President Obama proposes new tax on big banks to discourage high risks. (Maine News Simply 1.20.15)
Maine’s economic forecast is positive but must look to immigrants and urban areas to sustain future growth according to USM Economist Charlie Colgan. (The Free Press 1.15.2015)
RealtyTrac, a real estate data firm, reports foreclosure rates dropped in 2014 (News Maine 1.15.2015)
Credit unions ask Congress for a Data Breach Working Group to help prevent data breaches. (The Hill 1.15.2015)
Dividends from U.S. Banks remain low in 2015. (The West Austrailian 1.13.2015)
The markets in the U.S. have improved to make U.S. the leading the global economy. (PPH 1.13.2015)
A national gang, “Felony Lane Gang,” is stealing checks and personal information from cars parked in parking lots in Maine. (BDN 1.14.2015)
New mortgage calculation tools launched by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (MPBN 1.13.2015)
A sweepstakes is a chance promotion where the winners are selected randomly, such as random drawings, giveaways, and instant win games.
There must be no purchase necessary to enter a sweepstakes. Entries with a purchase are permitted, but there must also be a free alternative method of entry for everyone, which provides for equal limitations, equal quantity, equal time and equal prizes. Free entry methods include online and mail-in. But watch out for any hidden costs. For example, text messaging is not a “free” method of entry, because of the possible message and data rates that may apply.
For promotions with prizes over $5000 there are registration and bonding requirements in New York and Florida.
A contest is a promotion where the winners are selected based upon a skill, such as essay, video, recipe, or singing contests.
A sponsor may require a purchase or fee for entry, except in a few states, but the key is that a true skill contest must be based upon an actual, definable skill and there must be distinct judging criteria to select the winners.
Commercial co-ventures are a form of cause-related marketing that have proliferated in recent years. Commercial co-ventures between a company and a charity not only help charitable causes, but also tend to increase a company’s bottom line. Indeed, market studies have shown that most people will opt to purchase a product associated with a charitable cause over a competitor’s product. Commercial co-ventures are highly regulated, so carefully planning and must be taken to avoid any legal pitfalls.
What is a commercial co-venture?
Generally, a commercial co-venture is a charitable sales campaign where a brand advertises to the consumer that the brand will donate a portion of the purchase price to charity.
How is it regulated?
On January 9, 2014, Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage released his Biennial Budget for the State of Maine for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The Budget proposes sweeping changes to Maine’s tax code and would dramatically alter they way local government is funded. One of the most dramatic changes in the Budget is the proposal to reduce Maine’s income tax rate from 7.95% to 5.75%, which will result in a $1.2 billion cut in individual income taxes over the FY 2018-2019 biennium. The Budget also maintains personal exemptions with the federal deductions, but repeals itemized deductions and certain credits, including the charitable deductions and the Earned Income Tax Credit. To help seniors, the Budget eliminates the income tax on pensions, and expands the homestead tax exemption for retirees.