Compliance
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Compliance Q&A: CAN-SPAM Rules

Monthly online statement alerts don't fall under these guidelines.

September 1, 2015

Q: Our credit union sends a monthly email to alert members when they can view their statements online. Is this email covered by the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) CAN-SPAM rules?

A: These e-statement alerts aren’t covered by the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Nonsolicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003) or the FTC’s rules.

The CAN-SPAM Act covers commercial email messages and requires them to:

  • Clearly and conspicuously indicate the message is an advertisement or solicitation.
  • Provide recipients with an opportunity to opt out from receiving additional commercial email messages from the same entity.
  • Provide a physical postal address of the sender. Email messages with “transactional or relationship” content aren’t considered commercial emails and, therefore, aren’t subject to CAN-SPAM Act requirements. FTC regulations specifically exclude from coverage email messages that communicate, “at regular periodic intervals, account balance information or other type of account statement.”

Visit CUNA’s compliance blog—“CompBlog”—at cuna.org/compliance. Email cucomply@cuna.coop with questions or ideas for blog posts, and keep the conversation going with your peers on COBWEB, CUNA’s compliance listserv.

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