Removing Barriers Blog

Serious concerns expressed to the NCUA about the FCC’s draft declaratory ruling
Posted May 22, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA sent its serious concerns about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) scheduled June 6 vote on default call blocking to the attention of NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood, and requested he intervene and ask that FCC delay and reconsider the ruling.

Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the FCC will vote on an order that would allow voice service providers to default block robocalls, only lifting the block once a consumer has specifically opted in to receive communications.

While CUNA supports efforts to combat illegal robocalls, it is very concerned that this action, due to the short comment period before it could be in effect, and the order itself could jeopardize credit union-member communications.

“We have significant concerns that the action the Commission intends to take is overly broad and could have a significant adverse impact on credit unions’ and other financial service providers’ ability to communicate with their members and customers,” the letter reads. “Our concerns are compounded by fact that the Commission’s order will become effective upon adoption in less than three weeks.

The letter notes that consumers are harmed when they cannot receive time-sensitive calls and text messages with important information including important communications between credit unions and members

“CUNA believes that that FCC’s ruling will, unfortunately, further erode credit unions’ ability to relay information on and implement consumer protections regarding fraud, privacy, and account activity,” the letter reads. “As a result, the proposed declaratory ruling could not only potentially endanger consumers’ financial wellbeing, but also safe and sound credit union practices.

CUNA is also concerned that the draft ruling would take the choice to receive a call out of consumers’ hands and put it in the hands of the voice provider, which carries “a myriad of socio-economic implications” including credit union members not even being aware that they have blocked calls from their credit union.