Adaptability to changes has always helped humanity survive the most difficult situations throughout history. And we have yet again proved it amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Owing to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, people have changed their way of working from offices or trading floors and have started working from home. But this has set the bars for compliance to a whole new high.
Identifying fraudulent activities in the market and preventing them has always been a headache for regulators and compliance managers. Polices set by the regulators have always helped to maintain transparency in trades. The role of compliance managers in ensuring the employees’ adherence to such policies is also commendable. The physical presence of employees on the trade-floor was helpful for compliance personnel to have an overwatch of the employees, and it helped in the early identification of potential risks.
According to the FCA, the fundamentals of market abuse offenses have not changed. But there is a change in the way these risks manifest. Regulators are introducing timely updations in market policies to curb these new risks. Hence new surveillance methods must be used to welcome these policy updates.
Surveillance requirement owing to new ways of work
In a recent speech, the FCA reassured its responsibility in maintaining the markets open, even under the difficulties caused by the pandemic. The markets must remain open as they play the fundamental role of supporting the economy. They aid in the pricing and management of risks and allows firms to increase their capital at times of need.
The firms indeed faced difficulties to follow the usual practices of recording and surveillance while they resorted to alternate ways of working during the beginning of the pandemic. But, from their experience, FCA suggests that firms are now capable of overcoming these situations. Hence, moving forward, adequate measures should be taken, considering the office and work from home arrangements to be the same.
Even before the pandemic, customers and traders had resorted to instant messaging applications like WhatsApp and WeChat for ease of communication. Earlier, firms had put restrictions on the usage of these applications. But after the pandemic, there has been an increase in the use of instant messaging applications. Regulators have now identified that it is more practical to introduce policies for WhatsApp recording and WeChat recording, rather than prohibiting their use entirely.
This infographic summarizes the recent FCA expectations from firms. Make sure you have updated your policies, provided the necessary training, and remain vigilant over the new work environment, especially in the usage of privately owned devices. The firms must be able to demonstrate these policies to the FCA and their audit teams. The firm-management must prohibit the use of privately owned devices that do not have the capability of recording business communication. Also, the firm must check and approve any new mode of communication. Firms must also ensure that the compliance advisory team can provide necessary advice to the staff. The staff must also have access to the compliance team for any support.
Companies in the UK financial market need to have MiFID II compliance, which requires them to record all trade-related conversations and electronic communication (both potential and otherwise) with clients and counterparties. Hence, the firms must monitor phone calls and text messages. They should also perform activities like WhatsApp recording as well as WeChat recording. These recorded activities must be archived for any future reference. Hence, WhatsApp archiving and WeChat archiving are also required. The MAR is also another regulation that needs the monitoring of employees during trading or investment-related activities. But the GDPR restricts any firm from the collection of personal data of an individual. Therefore, monitoring the trade-related activities of an employee without hindering their privacy is indeed a challenge. Hence a tool ensuring regulatory compliance must be used for secure enterprise instant messaging.
Ensuring a good work culture can be the first line of defense in the fight to prevent a compliance violation. While working from the office, any sight or word of malpractice would be questioned or reported to the compliance team. Since people are now working remotely, such a practice is not possible anymore. Hence it is vital to have a good work culture in place. Firms must educate their employees on the necessity of good morale and credibility. Firms must be successful in expressing their expectations of the standards required by an employee, irrespective of working from the office or home.
TeleMessage captures and retains mobile content, including mobile SMS messages, voice calls, and WeChat conversations from corporate or BYOD mobile phones to ensure compliance with various data protection regulations. The messages are securely and reliably retained within TeleMessage servers or forwarded to your choice archiving data storage vendor.
Our mobile archiving products securely record content from mobile carriers and mobile devices for various ownership models (BYOD, CYOD, and employer-issued). With our multiple archiving solutions, you can always find the right tools or blend for your requirements:
TeleMessage offers cross-carrier and international mobile text & calls archiving for corporate and BYOD phones. Visit our website at www.telemessage.com to learn more about our mobile archiving products.