FCA issues new rules on social media

Posted on March 18, 2015


The Financial Conduct Authority has published new guidance on the use of social platforms for companies working in the financial services sector.

The regulator recognises that firms need to use the tool, with it now being very much the number one for collaboration and communications. However, there have been a number of notable and high-profile mishaps hitting the headlines.

Recognising this too, the regulator has issued its new guide to ensure companies are complying with rules over promotions.

The FCA director of supervision and authorisations, Tracey McDermott, said:

“Financial promotions, whether on social media or traditional media, must give customers the right information and meet our requirements to be fair, clear and not misleading.”

The new guidance comes just over six months after the FCA explained its stance on the use of social in the financial world.

Noticing the significant increase in the use of the medium, it said in August that customers should always be presented with a minimum level of information – no matter where that information was disseminated.

It also comes ahead of the much anticipated ‘event horizon’ for social in the banking world.

Backed up by recent research from Ovum, it is largely expected that retail banks will attract and deliver considerable business through social media by 2020, perhaps earlier.

With channels like Twitter limiting content however, it is likely to be necessary for much closer engagement with search engine optimisation (SEO) and news writing services.

The FCA guidance also asks firms to carefully consider their use of such word limiting channels, asking them if it is suitable for promoting complex products.

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