Social Networking Sites and Compliance

Posted By: mbernard

Social Networking Sites and Compliance - 04/08/09 10:54 PM

Hello,

If we have pages on Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace, can we advertise rates or products? If we can, do have to provide all the disclosures? For example, we say 0% Repo Loans, or 4.51% Checking accounts. If we left the rates and trigger terms out of our “blogs” do we need disclosures?

Any insight to the disclosure requirements would be great. Thanks in advance for your help!
Posted By: GuitarDude

Re: Social Networking Sites and Compliance - 04/08/09 11:53 PM

I would consider those sites/pages to be advertisements that are subject to all of the regular requirements. Also, since it is unlikely that you can include a link to further information right next to your main message (I am assuming this), you would need to have any triggered disclosures right there.

IMHO, advertising on those types of sites is probably not a good idea. Those sites are generally seen as not very professional and especially for MySpace, hackers seem to get in to people's pages all the time.

Lastly, the examples you provided (0% repo loans, 4.51% checking accounts) are not compliant in their current form with advertising rules under Reg Z and Reg DD, respectively.
Posted By: RVFlyboy

Re: Social Networking Sites and Compliance - 04/09/09 12:04 PM

Nancy Castiglione wrote an excellent article on this topic very recently that was published on the ABA Banking Journal website. The article was titled: Blogs and Tweets Can Land You in Compliance H*ll. You can access it here: http://www.ababj.com//content/view/760/121

Don't miss the embedded link at the top of the article for 6 new-media compliance tips.
Posted By: mbernard

Re: Social Networking Sites and Compliance - 04/09/09 02:39 PM

Thanks! That was what we were thinking. We agree with your comments. And thanks for the article!
Posted By: Andy_Z

Re: Social Networking Sites and Compliance - 04/09/09 06:49 PM

I've always enjoyed Nancy's work. And I am in complete agreement with her. This is the same as that employee who sets up a website in an attempt to bring in business. (Lenders collecting commissions have tried this as a means of furthering themselves.)

While I think you might argue your way out of a compliance violation with a regulator, showing corrective actions being done, you would be the deep pocket a consumer would collect from in less time than it takes to receive an emailed subpoena.
Posted By: tjbanker

Re: Social Networking Sites and Compliance - 04/22/09 02:34 AM

We have some creative employees that would like to put mortgage rates are in the 4's on their face book. Would this be acceptable? They aren't stating an exact rate but it still doesn't seem right.
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Social Networking Sites and Compliance - 04/22/09 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Andy Z
While I think you might argue your way out of a violation with a regulator....

If the "employee" is actually an officer of the corporation, then you'll probably get tagged. Officers speak for the corporation.