ABA Urges FCC to Protect Lawful Bank Calls

As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote Thursday on a proposal permitting telephone companies to block unwanted calls, the American Bankers Association submitted two letters (dated May 31 and June 3) to the commission explaining how it could result in the erroneous blocking of lawful calls placed by banks. The letters expanded upon arguments made by ABA and other trade groups in a separate communication late last week urging the FCC to seek feedback before moving forward with the proposal.

The FCC’s draft declaratory ruling would permit voice service providers to enroll customers automatically in a call-blocking program that is “based on any reasonable analytics designed to identify unwanted calls.” The ability for customers to opt out of the program would be required. If adopted, the ruling would be effective immediately.

ABA explained that bank calls are currently being mislabeled as suspected “spam” or “nuisance.” The association also pointed out that many of the bank calls that are at risk of being blocked are not “unwanted” calls, but rather calls placed by the bank in response to a customer’s request, such as low-balance alerts.