This is about Compliance in the banking and financial services sense. Sounds really boring, but it's not. Compliance is to finance what Boris Johnson is to London politics: Everyone's got an opinion on it.
That's why I'm very pleased to have as a guest blogger Phil Young from Advisor Lounge and ThreeSixtyServices in the UK who writes about Compliance in a way that won't put you to sleep, unlike those worker ants in one of those major consulting firms (I won't mention any names, let's just say it might rhyme with LiceWhorehouseBloopers and leave it at that).
Without further ado. Phil the blog is yours.
Compliance - An Excuse For Impotence?
Contrary to popular belief, in the UK, there are relatively few hard rules which apply to advice on a day-to-day basis. There are plenty principles overlaid with useful guidance, and best practice, which allow enough freedom of interpretation to make the requirements fit diverse businesses. Add in guidance and decisions from the Financial Ombudsman Service, Information Commissioner's Office, HMRC and plenty of others, plus the accumulated experience, baggage, and kickings we all acquire over time, and there's a fair bit to think about. As a result, many advisers operate within a set of compliance requirements which are mostly created by their businesses and not the regulator. This is rarely understood.
As a result, compliance becomes a convenient bogeyman to blame for the avoidance of social media. It needn't be. There are no specific rules for the use of social media, and I'm of the opinion that beyond a bit of guidance, there doesn't need to be.
Nor am I of the opinion that social media is necessarily important for financial services, I just think those that don't use it should have the balls to say it's because they don't want to, instead of blaming someone, or something, else.
In most large companies it probably isn't the compliance department who are most worried about social media usage anyway. It's the PR, department, worried about reputational risk or, more fundamentally, about their position as the intermediary between the spokesperson and the media. Or it's the marketing department, worried that you're not on message. Or maybe HR or IT, who own the policies.
In fact, the person most concerned about using social media is the probably the person saying they'd use it if it wasn't for a bunch of rules which don't really exist. Deep down many people don't trust themselves to use it, don't think they're interesting enough, or don't see the point. In most cases they're right on all three counts, and I think that's fine. Just admit it, and stop blaming it on the bogeyman. He doesn't exist. We are completely alone, and that's a lot more scary.