TCPA brings 'disarray': CUNA, partners seek congressional review

September 14, 2015

WASHINGTON (9/14/15)--Citing the “immense amount of uncertainty and potential liability” that comes with a recent omnibus ruling on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CUNA and its fellow financial services organizations wrote to U.S. Senate and House members Friday urging them to hold a hearing.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held a vote on the TCPA ruling in Juneand released its text in July, which CUNA believes will limit the ability of credit unions to contact members with relevant, timely account information.

“This order is detrimentally impacting consumers by limiting their ability to receive important communications from financial institutions via telephone or text message. While the FCC purported to recognize the importance of communications between financial institutions and customers and members, its ruling in practicality creates obstacles to our ability to communicate with the customers and members in your districts that we serve,” the letter reads.

“The FCC’s order must be modified for the protection of consumers and their ability to receive critically important information about their accounts from their financial institutions, including fraud alerts, data breaches, foreclosure prevention options and other pertinent account activity.”

CUNA and its partners note that the order became effective immediately upon a vote at the FCC’s June 18 meeting, without being put out as a proposed rulemaking with an opportunity for notice and comment.

“As a result of the recent FCC Order, it is difficult for financial institutions to have assurances that they are not in violation of some technicality when calling or texting their customers or members,” the letter reads. “It is imperative that Congress take action to illuminate the negative consequences that this Order will likely have on both financial institutions and consumers.”

According to the letter, a hearing would allow all sides to have an opportunity to inform Congress about the impact on industry and consumers.

 CUNA reached out to the National Credit Union Administration in August outlining concerns with the ruling, and hosted a webinar on the TCPA earlier this month, which can be viewed by registering for the event. CUNA is also meeting with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s staff later this month.