Feeling left out of the social media buzz because you are in the financial industry? Well there may be a little hope. Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal. Read more… online.wsj.com
The link is not work! So I am pasting the story here:
By Jennifer Hoyt Cummings Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Regulators have given new guidance to brokerage firms on how they can use social media websites, responding to requests from the industry for more clarity.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-regulatory watchdog, posted the new guidance in a notice on its website Thursday morning. The guidance gets down to the finer points on how companies can use social media sites but doesn’t change any of the rules the organization has already laid out.
Thursday’s notice says employees who want to start a new form of business communication, like a blog about the markets, have to get the initial posting approved by their company. After that, subsequent postings have to be retained for several years by the company, but not pre-approved. Finra said that a firm can’t establish links to a third-party site if there’s reason to believe that site contains false or misleading content.
Aside from the social media guidance, the notice also gives clarity on how brokerage employees can use their personal devices, noting that there’s no rule preventing employees from using these devices to access business applications. This guidance will likely be welcomed by people who want to use tablets like Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPad for work.
Social media is becoming an increasingly attractive tool for securities firms, but many in the industry have been hesitant to approve use of sites due to concerns about staying compliant with complicated regulations covering the companies’ public communications.
For instance, financial advisers could use websites like LinkedIn and Twitter to contact their clients more and to generate new business. But this would create a headache for their employers, who have to monitor and retain a lot these communications.
Finra regulates business content in a couple of ways, and social media sites can fall in both categories. Static communications, like advertisements, have to be approved by a registered principal, who is a company representative licensed by regulators to approve sales materials. This category covers profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook that people don’t update or change.
Another category is interactive content, which covers most email communications, as well as Tweets, posts and texts on mobile phones. This content doesn’t need to be pre-approved, but has to be supervised. Also, companies have to keep records of both types of content for at least three years.
-By Jennifer Hoyt Cummings, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2474; [email protected]