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Comments on TCPA Petition and Fiduciary Delay Due in March
Thursday, March 9, 2017 6:50 AM

Two items of interest to credit unions have comments due this month, and Cornerstone and CUNA will be weighing in on each with comment letters. The first involves comments on a petition to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) interpretation of “prior express consent” regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The TCPA generally requires a caller to obtain the prior express consent of the called party when making any nonemergency call using an automatic telephone dialing system (autodialer), or an artificial or prerecorded voice, to a wireless telephone number, among other specified recipients.

The petition is urging the FCC to adopt a rule requiring that every call made to either a cellphone or residential line must be made pursuant to consent that is expressly stated, specifically pertaining to autodialed or prerecorded calls, at a specified number, and in writing.

CUNA believes this change would prevent credit union members from receiving important communications on their mobile phones. It would also likely require credit unions to make fundamental changes to their practices for obtaining consent in conformity with the TCPA’s requirements.

“The TCPA petition would put credit unions at a higher risk for lawsuits related to alleged violations of the TCPA," said Cornerstone SVP Regulatory Compliance Counsel Suzanne Yashewski. "Credit unions should oppose the petition, and instead urge the agency and Congress to ease restrictions on cooperatives contacting their members. The TCPA is horribly outdated in regards to today’s technology.”

Comments on the TCPA petition can be submitted to CUNA by Thursday, and are due to the FCC by Friday.

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule was scheduled to go into effect April 9, but has been delayed to June 9 via executive order. Comments on the fiduciary delay can be submitted to CUNA by March 13 and are due to the DOL by March 17.

CUNA and Cornerstone support the goal of the fiduciary rule, which is to protect investors, but questions whether it could impact the ability of credit union members to receive services to invest and save, as well as its potential to add to the unnecessary regulatory burden of credit unions.

Yashewski says, “Credit unions are urged to comment to the DOL in support of extending the compliance date for the fiduciary rule. At the same time, remind the DOL that the definition of fiduciary is overly broad and could negatively impact credit union members.”