The last few years have seen market regulators dole out record numbers of fines to financial institutions over their failure to adequately monitor employee communications on instant messaging applications like WhatsApp. According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement division chief Gurbir Grewal, the regulator has filed charges against 40 financial firms and imposed more than $1.5bn (£1.2bn) in fines for such failures since December 2021.
While there is no denying certain regulators have cracked down hard on firms for their messaging practices, this may only be a precursor to much more significant action over the coming years – particularly for firms headquartered in the UK. So far, regulators in Britain have paid little attention to the behaviour of traders conducting business through text and similar platforms that evade regulatory oversight. This is despite the use of instant messaging apps growing increasingly common among staff following the outbreak of Covid-19, when traders were forced to work and communicate via different channels. However, it seems this may be about to change, and firms operating in the UK must ensure they are well prepared for a tidal wave of investigations as soon as 2024.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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