Fund firms set up social media framework

Social mediaAn industry working group with the backing of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has developed a framework for social media to be used in fund management marketing and compliance realms.

The FCA expanded its social media guidelines, originally issued in 2010, earlier this year and this came after a wealth management industry group, PAM Insight, found that 67% of UK financial advisers said compliance and regulatory concerns were the biggest barrier to social media adoption.

The FCA wants businesses to use social media for financial promotions in a way that is “clear, fair and not misleading”.

The social media group includes Axa Investment Managers, Baring Asset Management and Jupiter Fund Management.

The group, including Fiona Cornes, corporate affairs and group marketing director at Shawbrook Bank, says that while the FCA has provided the ‘what’ aspects of compliance, the working group’s framework provides a ‘how to’ perspective on what firms should actually do to follow the rules.

The four focus areas are: to create and formalise a social media policy; train employees and provide opportunities for continuing education; implement supervisory systems and controls to ensure compliance; and establish a record-keeping system.

Stewart Conway, head of digital marketing at Jupiter, says: "Social media and other digital communication channels are going to become as ubiquitous as email, and the advisors who ultimately succeed in business will be using these channels to interact with their clients, if they aren’t already.

“We need to be prepared for that imminent future. This framework provides practical guidance for companies to implement compliance requirements in that context."

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