A US probe into unauthorized Wall Street texting is forcing many of the world’s largest banks to create a new compliance role: the WhatsApp cop.
Firms can blame the bosses who broke the rules.
As U.S. regulators penalized 11 Wall Street banks this week for failing to prevent their employees from using unauthorized messaging platforms, investigators took a moment to describe some of the worst offenders — including leaders from commercial departments, deal-making teams and executives with national and global responsibilities.
In some cases, managers have even texted employees responsible for making sure banks comply with the law.
As part of the solution – on top of the more than $2 billion in fines imposed so far – a list of companies including Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley respectively pledged Hire a Compliance Advisor Review how they monitor and archive work-related communications, including on employees’ cell phones or other personal devices.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission underscored past regulatory failures by describing at least some senior executives at each firm texting co-workers and clients rampantly.
The agency previously said it was particularly frustrated with executives who were supposed to help enforce the rules but instead broke them.
At Bank of America, which announced the most fines Tuesday, a head of a trading desk urged other firms’ brokers to delete messages they’d exchanged on personal devices and switch to Signal, which encrypts, according to Commodity Futures Trading is commission.
The board resigned this year.
The SEC’s decision to call in executives — based on a selection of messages banks should collect for the investigation — could increase pressure on companies to ensure certain executives are held accountable. JPMorgan Chase, the first bank to settle the investigation last year, ousted some executives over the investigation and disciplined many others, sometimes cutting their bonuses.
Authorities did not name anyone and a person close to one of the largest banks said investigators did not necessarily tell the companies which employees were being described.
Two executives close to the banks said some of those described as employed were no longer there and that those who left did not necessarily leave because of the investigation.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/whatsapp-cops-are-a-new-force-in-bank-compliance-as-bank-of-america-citi-and-goldman-are-among-wall-st-firms-pledging-action-42025307.html “WhatsApp cops” are a new force in bank compliance, as Wall Street companies promising action include Bank of America, Citi and Goldman