CUNA urged the Federal Communications Commission to reject a petition seeking adoption of a rule that would change the definition of “prior express consent” regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). CUNA filed the letter with 5 other trade associations Friday, requesting the FCC reject the petition because it fails to prove the FCC has exceeded its authority.
“Clearly, the Petition would seriously undermine the relationship between Institutions and their customers, who have voluntarily provided their phone numbers because they want and expect to receive communications, including money management alerts, student loan repayment options, and stay current on their payments,” the letter reads.
Under step one of the Chevron test, a two-step test to determine regulatory authority, petitioners must prove that Congress has directly spoken to this precise question at issue. In petitioners’ arguments, they acknowledge the “TCPA does not define the term ‘prior express consent,” which indicates Congress has not spoken on the issues.
In addition to legal and policy arguments against the petition, the joint letter highlights that there are a multitude of laws and policy recommendations from other regulators that mandate that financial institutions contact their customers.
The letter goes onto explain that, since the petition fails to prove the FCC exceeded its authority under the Chevron test, a rule change would undermine the relationships of customers and Institutions, it directly contravenes mandatory communication requirements placed on Institutions, it attempts to interfere where the Commission has already spoken, and it further exacerbates the needlessly litigious environment hurting customers, the economy, and businesses.
For additional detail about the petition and the letter, see CUNA’s Removing Barriers Blog.
CUNA continues to press the FCC for relief for credit unions from the July 2015 TCPA order, which has made it difficult to be in communication with members, and has exposed credit union to potential frivolous class action litigation.