FCA sets social guidelines for bankers

Posted on December 18, 2014

 

Following on from a few high-profile gaffes on social media in the financial sector, its UK regulatory body is expected to bring in a new set of rules for banks.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which has a mandate to maintain the integrity of Britain’s financial markets, bankers could soon have clauses concerning behaviour on social media inserted into their contracts, in addition to receiving additional training.

With a number of big-name financial companies, including the likes of JPMorgan, having come a cropper on social media in recent years, the new FCA-backed guidelines would be aimed at improving customer confidence in the banks, as well as regulating how they interact with others online.

Under the new rules, which will not be sanctioned by regulators like the FCA but developed in consultation with them, even liking, sharing or retweeting a post to a banker’s news feed could be construed as a communication with a client. As such, it would have to be clear in its meaning, as well as fair and not misleading.

The guidelines were put forth in The Social Media Charter, which was launched in London on 11th December. The initiative has so far been given broad industry support, including from major players in the financial sector such as Citibank, Threadneedle and HSBC. Compliance with the rules could help firms to avoid fines from the FCA, as well as assist in keeping the UK banking sector out of disrepute.

When he’s not editing web copy and news articles at work, Web Content Editor Tom sates his love for the written word by losing himself in a good book.
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