The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) on behalf of its membersi, issued final supervisory guidance entitled “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance” which is effective immediately. The FFIEC published this Guidance to address the applicability of federal consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by banks, savings associations, and credit unions, as well as by nonbank entities supervised by the CFPB.
Financial institutions are using social media as a tool to generate new business and interact with consumers. Social media may more broadly distribute information to users of financial services and may help users and providers find each other and match products and services to users’ needs. To manage potential risks to financial institutions and consumers, however, financial institutions should ensure their risk management programs provide oversight and controls commensurate with the risks presented by the types of social media in which the financial institution is engaged, including, but not limited to, the risks outlined within this Guidance.
The Guidance does not impose new requirements on financial institutions. Rather, it is a guide to help financial institutions understand the applicability of existing requirements and supervisory expectations associated with the use of social media.
Social media can be distinguished from other online media in that the communication tends to be more interactive. For purposes of this Guidance, messages sent via email or text message, standing alone, do not constitute social media, although such communications may be subject to a number of laws and regulations discussed in this Guidance.
i Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; National Credit Union Administration; and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau