The Message from FINRA is Clear

Extract from article by Mike Pagani

Under the heading of “Social Media and Electronic Communications Retention and Supervision” in the 2017 FINRA Priorities Letter, the organization states: “FINRA will review firms’ compliance with their supervisory and record-retention obligations with respect to social media and other electronic communications in light of the increasingly important role they play in the securities business.”

One thing jumps off the page immediately: FINRA is calling out social media separately, indicating the level of focus they are going to be applying to this form of electronic communications moving forward. This is a clear confirmation that the days of only having to supervise and maintain compliance systems and procedures for email are now gone for good.

Bottom line: if your firm is using social media for business communications, you need to be capturing that communication and retaining it in a way that makes it easy to proactively supervise for potential compliance policy violations as it gets published. You also need to be able to search for and produce specific messages in a timely fashion, should FINRA ask to see them as part of an examination.