RALEIGH, N.C. (1/14/08)--About 1,300 fish coin banks issued by Coastal FCU are being recalled after the credit union had the banks tested and found excessive levels of lead. TJ Promotions of South El Monte, Calif., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling the plaster banks, which are shaped like a fish and are orange with white stripes (consumeraffairs.com and product-rviews.net Jan. 11). The $1.747 billion asset, Raleigh-based Coastal FCU provided the coin banks--which were manufactured in China--as gifts to members in North Carolina from February 2006 through September 2007. The fish coin banks contain excessive lead paint levels, violating lead safety standards. Coastal FCU informed the U.S. Product Safety Commission about the problem in September after it had the fish coin bank independently tested with a state agency, Joe Mecca, Coastal FCU community relations director, told News Now. “We had the product tested for our own soundness of mind, due to all the prevalent concerns about lead paint in children’s products,” Mecca said. “The agency told us that there was lead content, and that we should notify the distributor and the Product Safety Commission. The commission told us it was a problem to be handled by the distributor--TJ Promotions--which is the standard policy in cases such as these.” To inform members about the problem, Coastal FCU put posters in all of its branches, placed a notice in its quarterly newsletter in October, and had all employees inform members to whom they remember giving the bank, Mecca said. Because the banks were a free gift, the credit union is not certain who received them, he added. Most of the banks available were not handed out, so they were recalled before they could be issued, Mecca explained. Replacement banks are being custom-designed by a U.S. manufacturer and will be given out to members, he added. There have been no reports of illness or injury from the product. Members should immediately take recalled coin banks away from children and return them to the location from which they were obtained. Members will receive free replacement banks as soon as they are available, according to TJ Promotions. For more information, use the links.