CBA Responds on Do-Not-Call List

The Vancouver Sun features a letter to the editor today from Canadian Bankers Association President Nancy Hughes Anthony on the do-not-call list and  The CBA professes support for the DNC, noting that "it's easy for Canadians to opt out of telemarketing calls.  Simply sign up for the national Do Not Call list."  Hughes Anthony neglects to mention that CBA members are exempt under the DNC where there is a prior or current business relationship.  Under the rules, that means your current bank gets to call for a wide array of additional services even if your number is on the DNC list.  Moreover, if you simply inquired with another bank about a mortgage rate or credit card offering, they can continue to call you for another six months.  The CBA has a history of defending its right to make these telemarketing calls.  In 2004, it made submissions to the CRTC asking that its members be excluded from new telemarketing rules, arguing that its practices "do not constitute 'undue inconvenience or nuisance'."

With respect to, the CBA raises three objections, of all of which were dismissed by CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein. 

First, they express concern about the privacy risk associated with an email opt-out.  Of course, it is up to Canadians to decide how to transmit their personal information and not for the CBA to decline to observe the law because it objects to the transmission approach.  Second, they are concerned that the bank will not actually get the email transmissions (in other words, banks make it hard to opt-out via email and then claim that it is too hard to opt-out via email). This too is easy to address – identify a specific opt-out email address so that it goes to the right place with no spam blockers.  Third, they argue that they have privacy obligations to ensure the accuracy of a customer's personal information. There is no reason to believe that this obligation cannot be met through services such as by confirming names and numbers within their internal lists. In sum, the CBA and its members should respect Canadians' choices and the CRTC decision on iOptOut.  With penalties of up to $15,000 per violation, failiure to do so could get costly.


  1. Russell McOrmond says:

    If they really cared…
    If the CBA really cared about the current technical limits of , then they would be offering to work with the developers to improve the service. There are many technologies available to allow a secure communication between and CBA members which would confirm the transaction right away — in fact, the whole field known as web services is based on this concept.

    The reason that eMail is being used is because it is the lowest common denominator. It would be great if CBA members offered something better, but the ball is clearly in their court to improve their own currently deficient services!

  2. If it weren’t for my wife…
    I wouldn’t have a phone at all. Cell phone? Who needs one? Home phone? Oh, you mean “the annoyance machine”! Yeah, that’s never for me so I don’t bother answering it…

  3. DNC
    i used the put my name on DNC lists except for two companies in order to avoid marketing calls that annoy the life out of my family and i.
    the creation of is brilliant!

  4. RBC wouldn’t honor its own customer’s
    RBC would not even honour their own “marketing preference” policy. At least once or twice a year I would get calls from the Royal Bank trying to upsell me or trying to get me to renew a mortage early so I wouldn’t shop around elsewhere.

    Since the early 80s I have told the Royal Bank to never call me for telemarketing. When I complained about their lack of respect for their own policy they told me those were not telemarketing calls, they were simply giving me exciting news about how I could save money. Eventually I got so ticked off at the Royal’s corporate lack of respect (the branch CSOs are terriffic) that I took my banking to one of the other major banks.

    So good for the CRTC who normally exhibit what could politely be called a “reverse Midas touch” because they got it right this time. It is not about the CONTENT of the call, it is about the CONSENT of the recipient to receive it.

  5. trncated subject on previous post
    the entire subject line in the last post was truncated by the blog software to make it look as if I don’t know my apostrophe from a hole in the ground. The subject is:

    RBC wouldn’t honor its own customer’s marketing preferences.