The number of consumer complaints and litigation against small to mid-sized community banks and credit unions has been growing aggressively: 4,164 consumer lawsuits had been filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by the 31st of October 2016. That number marks a 33.7% increase from the number of TCPA suits (3,115) filed at the same time in 2015.
The TCPA, passed by Congress in 1999, is is a federal statute that prohibits unsolicited advertising by fax machine, automated recorded voicemails, advertising calls to mobile telephones or other devices where the customer must pay to receive the call, and solicitation after a customer has added his or her name to a "Do Not Call" list. Likewise, recent court decisions have also held that unsolicited text messages are also covered by the list of prohibited communications under the TCPA.
For many small to mid-sized community banks and credit unions, the TCPA is often adhered to informally, rather than being treated as an official matter outlined in the institution's policies and procedures. Regardless of if your bank or credit union has adopted an informal or formal approach to the TCPA, your institution needs to review, revise, and update your customer contact policies in 2017.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is actively registering consumer complaints and taking action to bar community financial institutions from making unsolicited contact with customers. From small companies to banking giants like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, the financial industry has been rocked by multimillion-dollar lawsuits over the TCPA. In 2014, Capital One's $75 million settlement deal made history as one of the largest on record involving alleged calls placed without prior customer consent... and, the cases keeping coming!
In this practical webinar financial institutions will learn about the TCPA, recent Federal Communications Commission interpretations, and practical tips for avoiding TCPA claims. In particular, we will focus on maintaining your communications with customers while avoiding costly class actions and other TCPA litigation.
During this program, attendees will learn:
- Why the TCPA was enacted
- What types of communications the TCPA covers – from “robocalls” to fax advertisements to texts and how the FCC treats different types of calls (marketing vs. informational).
- What the TCPA actually prohibits
- How the law distinguishes between residential and mobile numbers
- What monetary damages are available to private litigants, including recent lawsuit examples
- The role of the FCC as an interpreter and enforcer of the statute
- Recent FCC TCPA rulings and how they impact financial institutions, including from the FCC July 2015 ruling
- When prior consent is required from called parties and what consent qualifies
- How consumers can revoke consent and how to manage revocation
- Recent litigation and regulatory trends
- Best practices for obtaining and verifying consent
- How to protect against calling a reassigned number
Who Should Attend?
The following personnel will benefit from this critical and important training session:
- Financial Institutions/other Lending and FinTech companies
- In-house Legal and Compliance Executives
- C-Suite Executives
- Chief Marketing Officers/ Executive Sales Department Heads
- Marketing Department Staff
- Collections Officers
- Compliance Officers
- Auditors and Audit Staff