In new outreach that will probably not provoke LOLs across the financial services industry, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has released proposed guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by banks, savings associations and credit unions, as well as nonbank entities supervised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state regulators.
The FFIEC is responding to requests for guidance in this area from various industry and consumer interests. The guidance is intended to help financial institutions understand potential consumer compliance, legal, reputation and operational risks associated with the use of social media, along with expectations for managing those risks. Although the guidance does not impose additional obligations on financial institutions, the FFIEC expects financial institutions to take steps to manage potential risks associated with social media, as they would with any new process or product channel.
The FFIEC invites comments on any aspect of the proposed guidance. It is specifically seeking comments on the following questions:
- Are there other types of social media, or ways in which financial institutions are using social media, that are not included in the proposed guidance but should be included?
- Are there other consumer protection laws, regulations, policies or concerns that may be implicated by financial institutions' use of social media that are not discussed in the proposed guidance but should be discussed?
- Are there any technological or other impediments to financial institutions' compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies when using social media of which the agencies should be aware?
Comments must be received 60 days from the proposed guidance's publication in the Federal Register.
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