Reckless use of social media harming investors: CSA

San Francisco-based Hearsay Systems Inc. has launched the next generation of its compliance-friendly communications-monitoring platform, which includes new features designed to catch and alert financial advisory teams to potential “high-risk” infractions in its communications with clients.

The latest iteration, which was introduced Wednesday, comes with a “risk meter” that leverages machine learning to sift through the contents of texts, emails and social media posts to flag — and, in some cases, delete — activities that breach compliance policies.

With this new feature, if an advisor decides to share an article directly on Facebook or Twitter, in violation of regulations, for example, Hearsay’s platform can run interference by automatically deleting that post.

“Supervision teams are tasked to do more than ever before,” says Mark Gilbert, chief technology officer with Hearsay, in a statement. “[The new features] allow them to act on the riskiest advisor behaviour quickly while knowing they have broad coverage across their field’s activities.”

Hearsay’s updated monitoring process is designed to apply a certain level of precision by fine-tuning the lexicon rules to its analysis of a social media post’s content and context.

Read: The risks of being overly social

Read: Social media: working with compliance

That means that a post with the words “guarantee” or “expect,” for example, would trigger an alert if the analysis found that it refers directly to products, and not, say, an innocuous statement about a company gathering.

Hearsay, in conducting its tests for the upgrade, found that the number of false alerts sent out dropped by about 50%.

Firms have the ability to set the parameters specific to their needs for managing digital interactions with clients in the platform. This allows the system to zero in on content that stands in violation of regulations.

For content that doesn’t automatically raise red flags, the platform also enhanced its other layer of protection, which takes a sample of the advisors’ digital activities —texts, emails, social media posts — to screen for potential risks based on compliance requirements.

Hearsay’s upgraded platform for advisors is now available to its subscribers.

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