FCA and the Twitter age
The transition from the FSA to the new Financial Conduct Authority is now well underway.
This weeks’ journey to the FCA document complemented Martin Wheatley’s earlier pledges to be more interventionist and to ban products which put consumers at risk when the regulator comes into being next spring, with the now oft-quoted, “shoot first and ask questions later” pledge still ringing in our ears.
But how will it do this? One way, according to FSA head of investment policy David Geale, will be to monitor social networks like twitter - the home of reasoned and well mannered debate - in 140 characters or less.
He told a meeting of international financial planners from the Financial Planning Standards Board this week, that the FCA would use its powers to “shut the gate before the horse has bolted” if they spotted complaints about a particular firm.
Another highly quotable and tough talking soundbite for the press, and apparently the FSA is doing it already - they just haven’t told us about it. (Cue another FCA pledge to be more transparent).
But on a note of caution, now that the consumer will know that the regulator is paying attention to their twitter rantings, what’s to stop some unscrupulous firms from planting that twitter shaped seed of complaint themselves?
What was a well intentioned customer service initiative could get very messy.