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Market Watch 66: Firms Must Plug Risk from Reduced Monitoring and WhatsApp

Market Watch 66: Firms Must Plug Risk from Reduced Monitoring and WhatsApp

The latest FCA Market Watch newsletter has set out their increased expectations for firms recording telephone conversations while operating in alternative working arrangements.   This week, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) published their Market Watch 66 newsletter, focusing on their expectations for recording in alternative working arrangements, namely the risk remote working poses to regulated firms, and the use of emerging communications channels such as WhatsApp. Due to the recent shift to home working, clients and employees alike have turned to non-conventional communication measures to ensure business continuity. Tools such as WhatsApp have helped ensure global businesses remain active and competitive during these challenging times.   “Firms will need to ensure that, if such apps are used for in-scope activities on business devices, they are recorded and auditable."   In the newsletter, the FCA highlight they have previously penalised individuals who have used WhatsApp for misconduct such as arranging deals or providing investment advice. The fact that social media platforms are far more prevalent and accessible while working from home means these channels are likely to be used for in-scope activity and should be considered as part of a firms risk management program from now on.   “It is important for firms to proactively review their recording policies and procedures every time the context and environment they operate in changes. We expect firms to have a rigorous monitoring regime, commensurate to the increased risks, where in-scope activities may be conducted outside the controlled office environment.”   The need for effective and up to date recording policies was also touched on in this months’ notice as well as the expectation firms are keeping up with their employee training as conduct policies are enhanced and refreshed.   The full newsletter can be viewed HERE

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