With a traditional English understatement the document notes that “features from social media have started to make their way into firms’ distribution models.”
About blimin’ time too! Social media is how people interact today. If your firm isn’t on social you lack knowledge of what your clients are up to and you're leaving a communication channel wide open for your competitors to grab your clients. Oh you don’t think so? Well how about this little tidbit of pub quiz general knowledge: In the first half of this year 600,000 Brits switched bank account providers. (Thanks to Bill Sullivan from Capgemini for the tweet).
Now I’m not saying that’s because of digital or social media, but some of it sure is and more importantly it shows that clients are ever more willing to change banks.
So back to the FCAs guidance. Perhaps the main point regarding the FCA guidance is that it does go into more detail and is a tad more constraining than MiFID (which it cites often) when it comes to social media and interactions with clients in general. Okay, okay, yes I know MiFID 1 was written before the emergence of social media, but as I have written before on this blog in detail (legal citations included) previous legislation does already address issues related to social media, and all financial services firms can use social media without fear of falling foul of the regulators. Point being that the risks of using social media – when done correctly – are nowhere near what compliance officers would have you believe.
Most compliance officers actually have no clue as to what the regulations are so they just prefer to say “No” in the hope that you’ll believe them and leave the subject alone. If you read this blog, you’ll know not to believe them and you’ll know how to make them melt in front of your expert knowledge of all things regulatory. (If you’ve forgotten what I’m on about then read my previous article on MiFID compliant social media.)
Since I’m proper Eurotrash and my field is all things MiFID and not so much FCA I’d like to direct you to two articles by UK experts on social media for financial services. If you’re in financial services and you’re UK based you need to read both of these.
- Bridget Greenwood (mentioned above) from Financial Social Media UK has written on the subject in her blog making the apt observation “Social media today is pretty much the internet, as it’s anywhere on line people can easily interact and share their opinions.” Ponder on that a bit, because it’s not as obvious to many in the industry as should be, particularly marketing departments.
- Graham Aikin’s article "Updated social media guidance from the FCA" on Linkedin contains tips for financial services on how to conduct themselves on social media so that compliance officers won’t have heart attacks.