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Social media takes center stage at the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Regional Seminar

Broker-dealer and financial adviser usage of social media is taking off.
That was one of the key takeaways at the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Regional Seminar in San Francisco last Thursday, where compliance professionals from leading financial institutions and banks came together to discuss the hottest issues of the day.
During the “Regulatory Priorities” session, social media took center stage, as Daniel Sibears (SVP and Deputy, Member Regulation, FINRA) provided an update on FINRA’s social media sweep, or spot-check, of regulated Firms and their Registered Rep’s social media communications that kicked off in June. In this sweep, financial services firms were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding their social media accounts, who manages those accounts, as well as information about the firm’s policies and processes.
The social media sweep is still being processed, but Sibears says the end result will likely be guidance on permissible social media practices instead of rules for enforcement.

Yasmin Zarabi (Sr. Director of Legal & Compliance) and Jesse Turcotte (Account Manager) representing Hearsay Social at the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Seminar in San Francisco.

While findings won’t be completed for a couple months, Sibears made one initial result very clear: social media is the way clients are and want to be communicating and it’s the way registered representatives and investment advisors want to be communicating with their clients. FINRA wants to make sure firms are investing in the right processes and systems to monitor activity, archive communications, and support compliant social media usage.
Thankfully, most firms that are allowing for their registered reps to be on social media are selecting to use enterprise platforms for social media, like Hearsay Social. We look forward to hearing the final results of the audit from FINRA.