Businesses in the mortgage and financial industries that commit social media compliance infractions face a number of issues including legal and regulatory concerns, loss of consumer trust, and deterioration of brand reputation. These businesses simply cannot afford to make mistakes in regard to regulatory compliance. In the ever-changing landscape of the web, avoiding social media compliance mistakes can be difficult; employees may unintentionally break from corporate and regulatory policy, and companies may not have the resources or tools to manage their digital presence effectively. Here, we’ll outline four major digital compliance mistakes that are common in mortgage companies and explain what your organization can do to prevent them.
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Organizations in all sectors and industries must meet applicable compliance standards, such as the Fair Lending Laws, the Consumer Protection Act, and the CAN-SPAM Act. However, when it comes to social media governance, firms in the mortgage industry face an added compliance burden to adhere to the strict compliance and monitoring requirements outlined by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. These guidelines went into effect December 2013 with state requirements (some strict and some more lenient) following.
In theory, the FFIEC guidance was straightforward in helping protect the consumer and to reduce mortgage companies’ risks to fraudulent brand activity on the web. In practice, however, staying compliant, and keeping a solid compliance process, is quite a challenge! These are the challenges I work with every day:
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It's been almost two years since the FFIEC has issued its final guidance on social media for all businesses supervised by the CFPB. We've spent a lot of time talking about how regulated businesses can create social media governance programs and we've offered tips and ideas along the way for attaining social media compliance for mortgage companies.
In our blog post Social Media Compliance & Your Sales Team: 6 Steps to Success, we suggest a process to help secure compliance with your loan officers. Step number five of that process is to "train your sales staff". One of the best ways to train employees on social media compliance is to give them examples and guidelines on what, exactly, you would like them to do with their social media accounts!
Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., one of Brandle's customers, has created Social Media Guidelines and Requirements for their loan officers to receive step-by-step instructions. The beauty of the document is that it is simple, gives an illustrated example for each approved social media site, and lists the compliance requirements on each page. PRMI is kind enough to let us share this "best practice" example of how to help loan officers with compliance and good brand standards! Perhaps it will help you with your training program for your "social sales team".