FINRA issues social media guidelines for brokers

26 August 2011

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued new guidelines for brokers on the way they use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

According to FINRA, these new sets of rules expound upon the regulatory notice originally published by the body in January 2010.

The guidelines stipulate that brokers need to maintain records of any communication they have with a client through the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, regardless of the medium.

In a statement, the organisation said: “It does not depend upon the type of device or technology used to transmit the communication, nor does it depend upon whether it is a firm-issued or personal device of the individual; rather, the content of the communication is determinative.”

The regulator stated that brokers should not use technology which automatically deletes the content of any electronic communication, as firms are under obligation to retain records of interactions.

According to the body, a broker who mentions their employer on a social media website such as Twitter must ensure they have the firm's approval.

By Jim Ottewill

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