Social media moves on to the regulators ’ radar

When Twitter disclosed details of its listing last month, naturally it did so in a tweet. “We just priced our IPO,” it tweeted on November 6. That brief announcement joined a swelling torrent of financial information on social networks – which is rapidly attracting the attention of regulators.

Social media is increasingly exploited by listed companies to inform investors and by traders and bankers to gather information or share ideas on markets. It all adds to the pool of data that regulators and compliance officers can scour for signs of illicit behaviour such as insider trading.

Bill Nosal, head of product strategy and business development for Smarts, Nasdaq OMX’s surveillance unit, which provides software to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, confirmed that watchdogs have become more alert to what is being said on social media.

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