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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

FINRA Eyes Social Media

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WASHINGTON BUREAU — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is preparing to weigh in on financial services industry use of social media.

Richard Ketchum, the chairman of FINRA, Washington, talked about social media issues here recently at a conference organized by the Insured Retirement Institute, Washington.

“Our goal is to provide further guidance on these issues in a notice to be published later this year,” Kethchum said.

In 2009, FINRA organized a Social Networking Task Force made up of FINRA staff and industry representatives to discuss how firms and their registered representatives could use social media sites for legitimate business purposes in a manner that ensures investor protection.

In 2010, FINRA used input from the task force and other parties in Regulatory Notice 10-06.

FINRA will now seek to answer questions from broker-dealers about the best way to supervise “business card” information that is posted on a social media site, particularly when there is the potential for employees to communicate about securities-related business through the site, Ketchum said.

Broker-dealers also have asked how they can most effectively supervise employees’ use of personal devices, such as BlackBeryy smart phones and iPad tablet computers, which can link to firm systems.

The Social Networking Task Force “has discussed some broader Internet issues that extend beyond social media sites, such as the use of hyperlinks from firm websites to third-party sites, and the use of third-party data on firm websites,” Ketchum said.

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