Debt management firms to be banned from social media?

31 August 2011

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is looking at whether the use of social media or google adverts is an appropriate medium for debt management firms.  They are looking at ways at tackling "unfair business practices"The OFT do not regulate the debt management industry but do issue licences and guidance so their views are important.  They are not proposing a complete ban on the use of social media networks as long as their information is "balanced and adequate".  The problem with social networks is the amount of information given is often short.  However as long as any posts, tweets, etc are pointing to a legitimate and "fair" website there should not be any problem what is more internet users have come to expect this.In general, any attempt to regulate their use of the internet is fraught with difficulty.  The public and other professionals are more likely to welcome proper oversight or regulation to stamp out any cowboys out there, no matter how they come to the market.  Social media is an increasingly important channel for companies to reach their customers.  Also social media can be useful in exposing scams.