Ogier's head of Risk and Compliance, Peter Derrick, has highlighted issues around 'conduct risk' – that is, how employees conduct themselves in public and on social media when representing a company – and how that risk can be managed.

Speaking to BL Magazine this month (October), Peter emphasises the need for staff to resist discussing client matters out of the office, ensuring a firm's approach to media and social media is well managed, and instilling a culture of responsibility.

'I often use the example of HSBC staff who went go-karting in Birmingham this year,' said Peter.

"They dressed in balaclavas and thought it would be funny to take a picture of themselves performing a mock beheading of an Asian colleague wearing a jumpsuit.

"The image was posted on Twitter, and it went viral. It's a very good example of what can go wrong when people misuse social media; whether they believe they are 'just joking' or not."

It's not just use of social media that needs careful consideration, says Peter.

"Execs go out for a drink, have some beers and can happily chat away," he adds in this month's BL Magazine. "But you never know who's listening. It's the same with airport lounges – you don't know who's looking over your shoulder as you read confidential papers."

His advice is that staff should not discuss client matters, or any other sensitive topics, out of the office. And to manage the online environment, where comments can be anonymous and posts can quickly spread around the internet, Peter advocates a culture of risk management where roles and responsibilities are clearly understood and responses are swift.

"If someone is having a go at you or your company over the internet, you have to co-ordinate any response to that and carefully manage the process," he adds. "It's the same with the media. A quick response is often necessary, and that it's dealt with by one person, with a properly co-ordinated response. For everyone else the simple answer is 'no comment. When you're with friends and family, it's even more simple – you shouldn't talk about anything to do with clients at all."

Read the full article here http://www.blglobal.co.uk/Features.aspx?id=watch-what-you-say-and-do

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