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How social networking sites are reshaping individual and corporate practices.

Social networking sites within financial industries have escalated in use so much that UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) and USA's Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have issued guidance notes. All promotional and non-promotional communications on these sites are subject to the FSA's media-neutral policies. All regulated firms using new media must focus on content, and the rules governing them are laid out in fsa's Conduct of Business Sourcebook.

The line between business and personal use of social networking sites is drawn in the FSA and FINRA guidance notes. Regulators can regulate only what is within their purview and legal jurisdiction.

Kamran Butt, a branch manager of an Islamic bank in Pakistan, asserts that, if social networking sites are used for business, users must "behave professionally" and turn a blind eye to personal matters.

Of course, human behaviour is seldom that restrained. Fuwad Beg of Centriva Consulting, which helps recruit executives, says the lines between private, personal and professional are blurred. Recruiters use a range of social networking sites "prolifically", he says, to find prospective employees. Dimi Crossley, formerly with MRI Network Worldwide in Bahrain, says the practice is not uncommon.

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Publication:Islamic Banking & Finance
Date:Feb 20, 2011
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