Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Releases Proposed Guidelines for Use of Social Media by Financial Institutions

On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), an interagency body formed to develop uniform supervisory principles and standards on behalf of six federal agencies that regulate financial institutions released proposed guidance entitled “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management,” regarding the use of social media by federally regulated financial institutions. Once the proposed guidance is finalized after considering comments received from the public, the FFIEC anticipates that its member federal agencies – the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – will issue the guidance as supervisory guidance to their regulated institutions.

Risks Associated with the Use of Social Media -

Acknowledging that many financial institutions are using social media to attract new business and engage with existing customers, the FFIEC is seeking to increase awareness of the potential consumer compliance and legal risks, as well as reputation and operational risks, involved in the use of social media, and to establish a framework for managing those risks. For purposes of the proposed guidance, the FFIEC considers “social media” to be a form of interactive online communication in which users can generate and share content through text, images, audio and/or video.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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