A few months ago, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Resolution (ACPR), which ensures the stability of French financial and insurance systems and the protection of customers in these sectors, published its recommendations 2016-R-01 on the use of social media for business purposes. The aim of this text is to protect customers at a time when communication via digital channels is increasingly taking place in our daily lives.
These means involve new types of interaction that cannot escape compliance with regulations. It is by following these rules that financial services companies can protect the interests of their clients while safeguarding themselves from potential risks, all while continuing to drive their own innovation.
Hearsay serves several well-known financial institutions in France. From our perspective, the ACPR’s recommendations are very good news because the regulator thus formalizes the increasing use of social networks by banks and insurance companies to engage and communicate with their clients. By providing a specific regulatory framework, the ACPR will allow these organizations to generalize their uses by knowing the rules to respect.
First, the prohibition of misleading advertising is one of the most important principles of this regulation. Social media can indeed open the door to questionable practices, such as the publication of false positive comments on a Facebook page or incomplete legal notices. On social networks, as elsewhere, the client must be exposed to transparent and relevant content.
The ACPR also stresses the importance for organizations to create professional accounts on social media and to differentiate professional use from personal use. Again, the need for transparency is fundamental. The ACPR asks banks and insurance companies to organize and define the rules for communicating on social media while giving them the means to monitor their compliance. This may include topics such as re-reading of pre-published content, provisioning of pre-approved content, or validation of profiles on social networks.
Finally, organizations must set up a system for archiving content published on social media. Having a record of interactions between the firm and the customer will not only help them better serve their clients but also help provide a reference point if any unquestionable exchanges occur.
Social media as a channel of communication has become indispensable for insurance companies and banking institutions around the world. The regulations aim to protect consumers and thus maintain a climate of trust between customers and businesses. Compliance is ultimately not a limitation, but a vital means for companies to evolve within a precise framework and fully distinguish themselves from the competition in this digital-first world.
About Hearsay Systems
Hearsay Systems offers leading advisor cloud solutions for financial services, empowering advisors to efficiently and compliantly use social media, websites, text and email to engage with customers, build stronger relationships and grow their business. Its prescriptive technology processes and prioritizes data from across digital channels and data systems, providing actionable suggestions for advisors on how they should engage with customers next. Built for the enterprise, Hearsay connects these advisor-client interactions and data to corporate CRM systems and digital marketing programs, and provides efficient compliance supervision and review workflows – all on a secure, enterprise-ready platform.