The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is paying close attention to the role played by financial influencers, or finfluencers, according to the self-regulator’s executive vice president of member supervision.
“The finfluencer … [w]as something we looked at, and I think there’s not a lot of compliance professionals that are dug in on the TikTok world,” Greg Ruppert said Wednesday at the 2022 Finra Annual Conference.
“So, from that perspective, let’s see what we’re seeing out there from the TikTok financial influencers, hence the ‘finfluencers,’ but it’s also Instagram,” he said during a Q&A session with Finra senior executives.
“It could be on any social media sites,” he added.
Ruppert said some firms are using financial influencers who receive some form of compensation for recommending firms or products.
Unlike cybersecurity and the challenges posed by Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, the issue of financial influencers does not feature prominently in the 2022 report on Finra’s examination and risk monitoring program. However, Ruppert says Finra is ramping up its efforts in this space.
“We’re hopeful we’ll have a product out of some of our early assessments,” he said.
Although Ruppert did not provide a timeframe, he said that Finra’s offering will be available “within the foreseeable future.”
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