How Do I Avoid Violating FINRA Regulations?

How do I create great content without violating FINRA regulations? Good question and one which many forex brokers are asking this year.  Financial service brands have it really tough sometimes. Actually, the content writers and compliance officers of financial service brands have it really tough. With regulations set in place to protect investors, it can be difficult to publish a sentence without getting into trouble. In this article, Contentworks, experts in content marketing for the financial services industry, takes a look at how to create great content without violating financial industry regulatory authority FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) regulations.

The tech world and the financial world are a million miles apart. The old-fashioned finance industry is still grappling with the digital era whilst the tech world is rocking it. In many cases, FINRA’s regulations impeded even the most forward-thinking financial firms from getting ahead on their content marketing. FINRA rule 2210 is a principal regulation which governs communications with the general public, including institutional as well as retail investors. It’s important because it defines the written communication of your financial services brand.

Even the most conservative financial brands have realised the importance of digital media in their marketing strategies. However, for those who really want to surge ahead, FINRA may continue to create a cumbersome operating environment. Unless you know the rules and how to play them of course …

#1 Compliance & Marketing

Traditionally, compliance and marketing departments have been at loggerheads with one another. Compliance wants to keep the company safe and avoid regulatory fines, whilst marketing seem hell bent on launching their new “non-compliant” campaign complete with matching hashtags and a dancing chimp.  Contentworks understands CySEC, MiFID and FINRA and we help financial brands align their communication channels by creating brand style guides, compliance & marketing guidelines and transparent strategies. We don’t see the compliance team as an enemy, we see them as an ally.  Ultimately great communication is key to perfecting the relationship between the two departments.

#2 Focus on USPs not Sales

By focusing on USPs (Unique Selling Points) as opposed to sales; financial services brands are less likely to clash with FINRA regulations. Of course, the more traditional leaders in the industry believe that this won’t bring in clients but the opposite is true. Shameless self-promotion just doesn’t work in today’s digital age especially the used car salesman approach that the industry used to favour. Add the recent CySEC bonus and leverage bans and there isn’t even much to shout about. Of course, if your brand is focusing on storytelling, engagement, sponsorship and genuine product USPs then there is plenty to say. Brands who focus on their content marketing as opposed to sales banners are also able to promote themselves quicker and are less likely to face obstructions from FINRA.

#3 Build Up Trust

When a new financial services brand decides to register with FINRA and produce marketing collateral, they may face increased scrutiny during the first year. This is now a very strict regulatory board, made even more so by recent bad behavior by certain big players in the finance and forex industry. However, it is very important to utilise this period as an opportunity for developing a strong working relationship with FINRA. You need a clear and documented content marketing strategy and you need to follow it. Building trust and transparency with regulators is key to your FINRA content marketing success.

It’s a dog eat dog world for financial services brands right now so you need to make smart choices when it comes to FINRA regulations. Contact the Contentworks team now to talk about compliant content marketing that really works.