Compliance Question of the Week

Is the monthly email we send to members telling them their statement is available online covered by the FTC’s CAN-SPAM rules?

No, these e-statement alerts are not covered by the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003) or the Federal Trade Commission’s new regulations (effective July 7, 2008).

The CAN-SPAM Act covers commercial e-mail messages and requires them to:

  • Clearly and conspicuously indicate that the message is an advertisement or solicitation.
  • Provide recipients with an opportunity to “opt-out” from receiving additional commercial e-mail messages from the same entity.
  • Provide a physical postal address of the sender.

E-mail messages with “transactional or relationship” content are not considered commercial e-mails, and therefore are not subject to the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act. Most credit union e-mail messages to members will likely fall into this category. In fact, the FTC regulations specifically exclude from coverage e-mail messages that communicate, “at regular periodic intervals, account balance information or other type of account statement.” -16 CFR 316(c)(3)(iii).

Related Links
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003

16 CFR 316


Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465,

Posted in Compliance News.