January 25, 2010 14:16 ET

FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice on Social Media Use in the Financial Marketplace

IMSA CEO Applauds This "Needed Regulatory Leadership and Guidance"

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - January 25, 2010) - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today issued "FINRA Regulatory Notice 10-06" to address the need for a new approach to social media use by those within the financial marketplace.

This notice guides securities firms and brokers regarding the use of social networking Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs to communicate with the public. "Regulatory Notice 10-06," which is presented in Q&A format, clarifies the responsibilities of firms to supervise the use of social networking sites to ensure that recommendations are suitable and customers are not misled.

"With so much change in electronic communication and the marketing of insurance and financial products, this type of guidance is very important at this time," said Brian Atchinson, Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) President and CEO. "The information in 'Regulatory Notice 10-06' is consistent with many of the issues identified at the IMSA-AARP Social Networking Summit held in October, 2009."

Atchinson adds that, "IMSA is pleased to see that FINRA is specifically addressing the regulatory challenges presented by social networking with respect to supervision, advertising, and books and records requirements, as these have been core areas of focus for IMSA's market conduct and social media initiatives."

IMSA is the premier standards-setting and compliance solutions organization for the life insurance, annuity and long-term care insurance marketplace for individually sold products. Qualified companies commit to maintaining high ethical market conduct standards and to being fair, honest, and open in the way they advertise, sell and service their products. For more information and a list of IMSA-qualified companies, visit

Contact Information

  • For information, contact:
    Jennifer Kalita