FirstBank Saves Countless Hours of Compliance and Social Media Monitoring with ActiveComply
In the past, Laura Byrum, VP, Director of Mortgage Marketing at FirstBank, was tasked to lead a team through a manual, monthly audit of loan officer social media. It was taxing on her team’s valuable time and energy but was a necessary task, one that no one looked forward to performing.
The never-ending Google searches, the tedious record keeping of compliance findings, and less than responsive loan officers can paint a clear picture of the manual process for those who have not experienced the end-of-month compliance crush. There had to be a better way, and Laura Byrum found it.
“We had a good handle on it, but it is so much easier with ActiveComply. We were spending so much time and energy doing things that we didn’t know we didn’t have to be doing because there is a service out there like ActiveComply.”
After discovering ActiveComply during a presentation hosted by The Mortgage Collaborative, Laura and her team saw a way to simplify their social media monitoring woes. Through industry-specific automation, ActiveComply can discover social media tied to a financial institution, identify costly compliance issues, and archive content for record retention requirements simultaneously.
New Opportunity Brings New Threats
During the housing boom of 2020 & 2021, Laura and her team saw increased buy-in from Loan Officers that were eager to utilize social media to bolster their sales. However, this new engagement, while welcome, became increasingly difficult to monitor manually, leaving the FirstBank team particularly vulnerable to problems slipping through the cracks.
“From a marketing standpoint, I want to encourage that, but the compliance side of me and our compliance team want to make sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
First introduced to Laura and her team as a sales enablement tool, ActiveComply provided a path to bridge the gap between production and compliance. The ability to create content at will to build more personalized relationships with consumers while ensuring compliance safeguards are securely in place for swift corrective action when needed.
Through state-of-the-art AI (Artificial Intelligence) and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, ActiveComply’s system automatically searches for instances of lender branding, trade names, and licensing across numerous websites and social media platforms. While the thought of loan officers going rogue in their marketing efforts seems intimidating (re: terrifying), ActiveComply’s system is constantly scanning social profiles for licensing and fair lending requirements while simultaneously evaluating post content for RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) concerns, UDAAP issues, and other regulatory violations.
Getting Ahead of Current Events
One of ActiveComply’s most popular features is the social media content alert functionality. Working alongside industry experts, ActiveComply continuously develops and maintains a sophisticated set of predefined content policies for mortgage lenders and banks. Completely customizable, lenders can then add or edit these specifications to best meet their needs. When the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in 2022, FirstBank was notified of the option to opt-in to ActiveComply’s new suggested keywords to flag any employees that might have taken a polarizing stance.
“I didn’t even think about monitoring something like that until it was suggested by the ActiveComply team, and it’s good to keep a pulse on those things.”
Brand reputation can be dramatically affected in an instant with social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok in hand. The Inappropriate & Politics Folders give lenders a pulse on what employees are publicly posting and how that might align with company values.
Depositories like FirstBank are often more stringently regulated than other lender organizations, increasing the likelihood that regulators are monitoring brand-associated content or profiles closely. In a day and age where regulators expect a lightning-quick response to examination requests, it is important that each organization’s metaphorical ducks are in a row and ready to go on parade at a moment’s notice. According to the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), organizations should retain advertisements for a period of at least two years, with many individual states imposing longer periods.
“It’s nice to have everything in one platform to get a global view of what we’re doing even outside of an audit, and it’s great for our compliance team to have everything in one spot for seamless review.”
With ActiveComply, users can easily search through archived content or simply provide the ActiveComply team with exam requests to have a personalized report built for no additional charge. Both external and internal audits of social media can be performed seamlessly.
Having Your Back Through Thick and Thin
The mortgage industry can come with many nuances that not every provider can understand and support. Having technology and automation only alleviates part of the social media monitoring burden.
“I know, personally, when I am looking at partners, I want to feel like they are rooting for us and that they're on our team. Having partners that are mortgage or bank-centric, that understand our business, that’s hugely important in my book.”
Through monthly newsletters and regulatory resources written in plain language, ActiveComply ensures that all members of the team, regardless of their compliance background, can begin to view social media through the eyes of their regulator. Having access to compliance professionals who keep clients abreast of the ever-changing medium that is social media means one less thing on the marketing and compliance teams’ plate.