ABA Highlights Broad Support for Petition to Facilitate COVID-19-Related Calls

ABA and six other financial trade groups wrote to the Federal Communications Commission yesterday highlighting broad support for an ABA-led petition seeking an expedited declaratory ruling or waiver from the FCC to confirm that financial institutions’ COVID-19-related calls are exempt from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s requirements. The TCPA requires banks and other callers to obtain the customer’s prior express consent prior to placing an autodialed call, but exempts calls placed for emergency purposes.

The groups noted that financial institutions are placing COVID-19-related calls and texts to offer payment deferrals and other loan modifications; advise consumers of branch lobby closings, reduced hours or the availability of remote banking options; and warn consumers of potential fraud on their accounts.

“Business groups, consumer groups, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and Commissioner Michael O’Rielly all have expressed support for the Commission taking favorable action on the Petition to facilitate the consumer-benefitting, informational calls that financial institutions seek to make to assist consumers in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the groups wrote.