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What Should Your Marketing Compliance Tool Be Monitoring?

Shagun Mehta

Shagun Mehta

PR and Content Specialist
  • Last Updated: January 31, 2024

In This Article

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As the banking sector has become increasingly digitized and innovative, there has been an important regulatory shift.

More and more, regulatory bodies are establishing rules around how financial products are promoted, seeking to protect consumers while also maintaining integrity in the financial sector. Take the FTC’s announcement from earlier this year. They have announced a stronger intention to prevent deceptive marketing practices, and that’s just one change in a sea of many others. To succeed — and not get caught out by a regulatory misstep — financial institutions need a robust marketing compliance program that’s supported by automated technology solutions.
In this article, we’re exploring the different areas of marketing compliance companies should keep top of mind, and how a marketing compliance tool can help teams abide by existing regulations. 

Want to know more about how our tool, Fintel Check, can help your team save time and stay ahead of the regulators? Reach out to us here.

How Financial Institutions Should Think About Marketing Compliance

Let’s start with a definition. 

Marketing compliance is the process of adhering to rules, regulations, and guidelines established by regulatory bodies.

These regulations, such as those imposed by regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), outline the dos and don’ts of marketing practices in the industry.

The guidelines and rules exist to safeguard the interests of consumers and maintain integrity in the industry by ensuring all marketing activities are executed in a lawful and ethical way. 

When it comes to setting up a marketing compliance program, it’s important to cover all the bases. We recommend that financial institutions take a comprehensive approach, considering three important facets: 

  1. Objective regulatory requirements
  2. Subjective requirements
  3. Brand reputation and guidelines

We take a closer look at each of these below.

1. Objective Regulatory Requirements

Objective regulatory requirements are the explicit rules and clear-cut criteria set by regulators in the industry.

These are specific steps and guidelines that companies need to follow, otherwise they risk facing financial and other penalties.  

Examples include: 

  • The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) is a federal law that mandates the information that must be disclosed to a borrower before extending credit, such as the annual percentage rate, the term of the loan, and the total costs.
  • The CARD Act was established to protect consumers from unfair and abusive practices by credit card companies. It includes three pillars: consumer protections, enhanced consumer disclosures, and protections for young consumers.
  • The Mortgage Acts and Practices (MAP) Rule was published to mitigate any misrepresentations in a commercial communication regarding mortgage products.

Each of these regulations have rules regarding the type of communications that should (and shouldn’t) be released to consumers. 

With a modern marketing compliance tool, teams can build these regulations into their automated rule checks. This can include: 

  • Building compliance monitoring rules that incorporate mandatory disclosures.
  • Explicitly banned elements and messaging into checks.
  • Using industry-specific resources for reference.

2. Subjective Requirements

Subjective requirements, meanwhile, are based on broader regulations that dictate how financial institutions should operate when it comes to protecting consumers.

These include unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP), which are illegal as defined by the Dodd-Frank Act, and fair lending laws. While these are important pieces of legislation, they can be hard to interpret as there are many different opinions regarding what they mean.

When it comes to monitoring compliance in this area, a marketing compliance tool can also be effective. Teams can make the most of this technology by: 

  • Understanding guidelines and definitions which can help in creating rules that control strategic terms which are unfair, deceptive, abusive, and discriminatory.
  • Using resources such as enforcement actions, supervisory highlights, and reports to train the monitoring software. 
  • Customizing rules based on the organization’s specific products and services.
  • Building a robust list of potential keywords and phrases that could be construed as UDAAP or as compromising fair lending practices.

3. Brand Reputation and Guidelines

The truth about compliance is that abiding by regulations isn’t just important from a regulatory perspective, it also helps maintain a brand’s reputation and ensure there’s consistency in how a brand shows up to its customers.

As such, it’s key for financial institutions to have brand guidelines and expectations that set parameters around messaging, product marketing, and visual brand elements. 

With a marketing compliance tool, marketers can: 

  • Determine the scope of brand monitoring (e.g. logo, messaging, brand identity, product descriptions). 
  • Ensure accurate representation by third-party partners to protect brand integrity and reputation. 
  • Enforce brand guidelines and restrictions (e.g. outdated product names).

Monitoring Compliance at Scale with Technology and Rules

 

Fintel Check for BaaS dashboard

We’ve written before about the best practices for marketing compliance, and one of the most important elements is to have a marketing compliance tool that streamlines the monitoring and evaluation of financial marketing activities.

An omni-channel marketing compliance technology will automatically help ensure adherence with regulations across diverse marketing channels. 

Teams that maximize their marketing compliance tools employ robust and well-defined rules in order to make sure all the regulations are being met and adhered to.

To do that, it requires a tool that allows for flexibility and customization when it comes to setting rules and parameters.

Fintel Check is one such tool. It was built to take the heavy lifting out of monitoring, finding, evaluating, and documenting fintech marketing activity.

It is built on a rules-based engine where the established rules tell the system what to monitor.

When Fintel Check performs its scans, it evaluates what it finds against the rules and provides an easy red, yellow, or green outcome that is easy to review, understand, and act on.

More importantly, the tool ensures wider and more frequent reviews and oversight, increases review accuracy, and gives teams much more comprehensive transparency on partner activity.

Specifically, Fintel Check includes features such as: 

  • Easily readable and actionable reports.
  • Rules for assessing content, such as interest rates, APY, and legal disclaimers.
  • Monitoring rules that highlight instances where specific words or sentences are mentioned.
  • An audit trail for each requirement applied, including compliance history for each monitored website.
  • Captured screenshots of all data collected by the tool for record-keeping.
  • Scheduled and automated runs of the tool.
  • Monitoring of links and quantification of risks based on impressions and clicks.

As financial institutions look to improve their marketing compliance efforts, they should consider adopting a modern monitoring tool such as Fintel Check.

This will demonstrate to regulators the proactive approach the bank is adopting toward compliance. It will automate manual processes, thereby saving time and increasing the capacity of the compliance team, while ensuring that content controls are consistently active.

If you’d like to learn more about Fintel Check and how leading financial institutions are currently using the tool to amplify their compliance team capacity and set their marketing programs up for long-term success, reach out to our team.

 

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