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Trade body calls for FCA clarity on social media rules

by: Carmen Reichman
  • 06/01/2015
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Trade body calls for FCA clarity on social media rules
An adviser trade association has called on the regulator to ensure final guidance on social media channels is clear after a member poll found over a third unaware the watchdog was investigating the issue.

The Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) found some 37% of advisers surveyed said they were not aware of proposed guidance on social media and customer communications issued last year by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

A further 33% of the 225 advisers polled said they were unsure about some of the proposed suggestions.

The FCA consultation published in August outlined its expectations of firms and individuals when communicating with customers via social media.

The guidelines suggested promotions for investment products should be identifiable as such and, for character-limited media such as Twitter, the regulator suggested the use of #ad.

APFA director general Chris Hannant (pictured) said the consultation was “a good first step and should help advisers become more comfortable using social media” but the FCA needed to ensure the resulting guidance is clear.”

He added: “With so many financial advisers still unsure or unaware of the rules and regulations around social media use, further clarity is needed from the FCA.” 

APFA found almost half of financial advisers were now using social media in a professional capacity but only one in five considered the tool important for their business.

Hannant said: “It is important that social media use is client driven – for example, if there is a demand from clients to receive information from their adviser through channels like LinkedIn or Twitter – rather than forced upon clients who may not want it.”

 

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