Ideaplane: Banks turn to in-house social networks

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Euromoney reported here last month how bank PRs were struggling with their bank Facebook pages – but now a former Myspace senior executive has come up with an alternative way for banks to use social networking.

James Fabricant, formerly in corporate finance at Merrill Lynch before launching Myspace internationally, has created IdeaPlane – an enterprise social network aimed at financial institutions.

It enables banks to have their own social networking site where they can look for employees or alumni, or have closed groups for parts of the business, clients or partners.

"Email is fairly old as a form of electronic communications, and in the workplace people expect the same kind of tools that a Facebook or LinkedIn can provide," says Fabricant.

For example, a relationship manager could have a closed page with clients on which he can load analyst reports or relevant data.

IdeaPlane has worked for 18 months with the likes of the Financial Services Authority, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and Securities and Exchange Commission to ensure the platform is fully compliant.

Fabricant says enterprise networking is the next step in social networking, and it is the regulated industries, such as financial services, which will face the biggest disruption.