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Ensuring compliant communications in Financial Services

The pandemic has reshaped business in myriad ways, none so much as how people
communicate. In a few months, employees at financial institutions (FI) adopted multichannel
electronic communications—including audio (phone), video, SMS/texting, and messaging—in
what otherwise might have taken a decade. Not surprisingly, this rapid rollout has stressed
the compliance groups at many FIs, which are required to monitor and archive internal
communications and those with customers—and generate reports for regulators.

During the height of the pandemic, regulators tacitly gave some compliance leeway to FIs.
After all, employees were suddenly working remotely, and they had to quickly adapt and
find ways to communicate with coworkers and their customers. But as these practices have
become quickly entrenched, regulators are taking a closer look and reasserting compliance and
monitoring requirements. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that new
communication tools are breeding grounds for scams and other misbehavior,1
and the UK’sFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a report that stressed the much greater risk of
misconduct associated with remote or home working.

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