FCC’s O’Rielly calls for swift action on CUNA’s TCPA petition

May 16, 2019

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said Thursday during public remarks that the FCC has an obligation to resolve many of the worthy Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) petitions that are currently pending. He specifically cited CUNA’s petition, submitted in September 2017, that requests that FCC take action to provide credit unions with regulatory relief from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  

“One petitioner seeks a declaratory ruling to exempt from TCPA liability purely informational and governance-related calls by credit union co-ops to their own members’ wireless phones…interpreting the TCPA to deter such calls would seem very foolish indeed,” O’Rielly said, referring to CUNA’s and other petitions as “common-sense requests” at the ACA International Washington Insights Conference Thursday.

CUNA called for TCPA clarity in the wake of a July 2015 TCPA ruling that made it unclear about what credit union-member communications are permitted under the TCPA. This comes as mobile phone use is increasing and financial regulators are urging institutions to use technology to ensure consumers are up to date about important account information.

Specifically, CUNA’s September 2017 petition requests the FCC issue a declaratory ruling that wireless informational calls to credit union member-owners with whom the credit union has an established business relationship, or where the call or text is in fact free, be exempt from the TCPA’s prior express consent requirement for autodialed and artificial or prerecorded voice calls.

 “We thank Commissioner O’Rielly for his call for the FCC to move quickly to resolve pending TCPA petitions, as granting our petition will be a major step forward to provide clarity to credit unions about member communications allowed under the TCPA,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan, who participated in a panel discussion on the need for TCPA reform at the same ACA International event.