What’s a Lenders Obligation to Social Media Compliance?

There are plenty of sources citing President Trump’s plans to reduce regulations but don’t mistake his pledge as a good time to take your foot off the gas when it comes to digital advertising and social communications.  On, February 24, 2017, President Trump signed another executive order on regulatory reform. In the order, federal agencies are instructed to make “regulatory reform” task forces, which will serve to assess federal rules and then recommend whether to keep, repeal, or modify them. The President has repeatedly stated that he plans to cut regulations by 75% or more. The order explicitly states that “it is important that for every new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”1 Lenders and mortgage brokers are anticipating that this will drastically affect their ability—or lack thereof—to advertise on social media.

So, how should lenders respond?

Despite this news from the Federal government, we are not quite sure how each state will respond. Although the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) guidelines are not considered a regulatory document, adherence to its risk management program and the various components therein, can assist financial and lending institutions in remaining compliant with any of the laws and regulations.2  Until we know for sure, Comergence suggests that lenders follow the FFIEC’s program guidelines.

Does your company program contain all of the FFIEC elements listed here?

  • Identify individuals responsible for managing and overseeing the program.
  • Clearly defined policies and procedures as it relates to social media use and the methodologies that will be incorporated to overcome the risks.
  • A sound process for selecting and managing social media third party relationships.
  • Employee training program that states the unauthorized use and activities per the company policy.
  • True monitoring of information published to the various social media sites.
  • Periodic audits and reviews that assist in your effort to be in constant compliance.
  • Finally, a way to disseminate information to upper level management on the program’s success or weakness.

We realize that staying compliant on social media is difficult. While social media provides a wonderful (and easy!) way of networking and advertising your services, the regulations surrounding advertising are stringent and the repercussions for violating them are harsh.  Spend the time to understand the various state and federal regulations that have the greatest potential for violation and set up your program accordingly.

Comergence can help!

Our Social Media Compliance solution addresses the growing need and seemingly insurmountable task of monitoring social and digital media communications within a regulatory framework.  We’ve developed an effective service that meets the specific needs of mortgage originators and is affordable for any size organization that bears the responsibility.

Visit our Social Media Compliance page to see how it works.

Sources:

[1] Swanson, B. (2017, February 24). President Trump signs another executive order to slash regulation. http://www.housingwire.com.

[2] CohnReznick (2014, June) Mortgage Lenders Use of Social Media, Balancing the Benefits and the Riskshttps://www.cohnreznick.com