Clarification for Florida Credit Unions Regarding Robocall Prevention Legislation

On June 30, 2021, CUToday posted an article raising concerns about Florida’s robocall prevention legislation, which passed during the 2021 Florida Legislative Session and is now on the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis. Citing NAFCU, the news article stated that financial institutions could face lawsuits based on the lack of clarity in SB 1120. A key part of the law creates a private cause of action for any Floridian that receives a robocall. The goal of the legislation: prevent the annoying robocalls consumers receive via their cell phones, for things like “auto warranties” or “social security,” etc. Per the article, NAFCU’s concern is the legislation does not define the term “automated system,” which could put financial institutions at risk of litigation.

“However, NAFCU failed to look at the statute as a whole. Included in the statute is a list of exempt entities. Among these are financial institutions. FL. S. 501.604(7) clearly excepts credit unions from the new section of the law. Credit unions still must comply with time restrictions related to calls, but the new section that creates a private cause of action and is aimed at stopping spurious robocalls does not apply to credit unions,” explains LSCU President Jared Ross in a message sent to all Florida credit union’s CEOs today. “The League is always reviewing legislation that could have any consequences to credit unions and was well aware that this exemption existed. This is another example of the importance of having full-time advocates at the state level looking out for our credit unions.”

The relevant language reads: 501.604 Exemptions.—The provisions of this part, except ss. 501.608 and 501.616(6) and (7), do not apply to:

(7) A supervised financial institution or parent, subsidiary, or affiliate thereof operating within the scope of supervised activity. As used in this section, “supervised financial institution” means a commercial bank, trust company, savings and loan association, mutual savings bank, credit union, industrial loan company, consumer finance lender, commercial finance lender, or insurer, provided that the institution is subject to supervision by an official or agency of this state, of any state, or of the United States. For the purposes of this exemption, “affiliate” means a person who directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls or is controlled by, or is under common control with, a supervised financial institution.

If your credit union has any concerns or questions, please reach out to LSCU at Advocacy@LSCU.coop.

Written by
Ann Naiman
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The League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates represents 342 credit unions in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, with a combined total of $118.63 billion in assets and more than 10.1 million members. LSCU & Affiliates provides legislative and regulatory advocacy; education and training; cooperative initiatives (including financial education outreach); public messaging; information services; and business solutions.

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