WASHINGTON (12/3/15)--The recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) omnibus Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) order is arbitrary, capricious and should be vacated, CUNA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Wednesday.
CUNA, along with the American Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers Association, filed a joint amici brief stating the order “severely restricts the ability of financial institutions and other callers to engage in useful, and often urgent, communications with their customers and members.”
“The FCC’s TCPA order is restricting important communications between credit unions and their members that can help prevent fraud, identify theft, and provide other important account updates,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer. “We believe the FCC acted in a manner that is harmful to consumers, and is an abuse of the authority Congress granted to it.”
The FCC released the order July 10, and it immediately went into effect without being put out for a notice and comment period. The brief is a very important addition to the lawsuit because it outlines specific concerns to credit unions and other smaller financial institutions. It notes that if the TCPA order is upheld, its “onerous and burdensome” requirements may force those entities that have limited staff and resources to restrict wireless communications with their members and customers.
Furthermore, the brief notes that the risk of “draconian liability” under TCPA class actions threatens the very livelihood of small financial institutions, and their ability to serve members and customers.
“Surely when passing the TCPA decades ago, Congress did not have in mind to arbitrarily scrutinize and limit communications between credit unions, who are not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives,” Donovan said. “We hope that the court will recognize the absurdity of some of the new requirements the FCC has outlined.”
Some of the specific consequences of the order that the brief takes issue with include:
Since the FCC’s order, CUNA has written to Congress with its TCPA concerns, outlined credit union concerns to the National Credit Union Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, met with the FCC to discuss concerns and hosted a webinar on potential issues for credit unions.