Not long ago, Ballard Spahr partner Mercedes Kelley Tunstall, gave some sage advice at a regulatory symposium. She was discussing social media legal and regulatory compliance for financial institutions, and she said that "there is nothing new under the sun." A bold proclamation in a world where "twerking" wasn't on anyone's radar screen (outside of a Cat House) a mere five years ago. Nevertheless, it's true.
"Just like you have to disclose online, you have to disclose on social media. You can't look at this as completely different."
What's different in social media is that people talk back to the bank. In traditional online (and offline) marketing, the bank does all the talking. Having "outside the box" conversationalists in the mix adds a new level of risk. However, the types of risk remain, for the most part, the same.
Another speaker at the same symposium was the FDIC's Elizabeth Khalil, who I gently chastised for her earlier comments about the proposed FFIEC guidance on social media being guidance, not regulation, and, therefore, not forming the basis for regulatory enforcement actions if it's not followed. Ms. Khalil indicated that the final version of the guidance should be issued this month or next. She indicated that while details will be "tweeked" (but, presumably, not "twerked"), their will be no "wholesale changes" to the proposed guidance.
Since bankers, like most business people, prefer ceratinty to uncertainty, the issuance of the "guidance" will be welcome. At the very least, they'll provide financial insitutions with a starting point for regulatory and legal compliance in their social media efforts.