WhatsApp Woes

WhatsApp Woes: Finance Firms Brace for Video Calls Scrutiny


Now that text messages and emails are being closely watched, financial companies are thinking about whether they might need to also watch video calls for rule-breaking. During the outbreak, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has led a crackdown on business-related text messages sent through illegal apps like WhatsApp. The SEC hasn’t said anything official yet, but there’s talk that they might make recording requirements cover video calls, which is making people in the business nervous.

What the Industry Did

Finance firms are getting help from technology experts, law firms, and risk advisers to stay ahead of possible regulatory action. Video calls watched and saved to meet record-keeping standards and lower the risks of private information shared without permission. This move is part of a larger push by U.S. and UK officials to protect investors better, especially small investors taking part in the meme stock trend.

There are Problems and Worries about Video Calls

According to Brad Levy, CEO of Symphony, putting video into highly regulated work settings isn’t clear. This shows how work practises are changing. At the moment, video calls don’t have to keep very many records, but experts like Matthew Nunan think that regulators will look closely at them for compliance issues. The problem is that businesses need to be able to record, store, and create relevant business records no matter what kind of communication tool they use.

Market Dynamics and Rules for Supervision

Sarah Pritchard, executive director for markets at Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, says that market abuse and the things that make it easier for it to happen are important to regulators. Past investigations have found wrongdoings in work-related chat rooms and emails, which led to a new look at how possible it is for breaches to happen during video calls, which are now popular in the finance industry.

Recordings in Use

There already steps taken by some big global banks. At least two of them are recording Zoom calls, according to sources. The other bank records all Zoom calls so that they can be looked at later if needed. One bank records calls for individual staff. It’s still not clear when or why these recordings were made, and the fact that HSBC doesn’t allow work-related texts makes things even more complicated.

Regulatory Setting to Video Calls

Some companies have to follow the “FINRA Taping Rule 3170,” which says that phone calls with customers must recorded and kept for at least three years. This rule comes from the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It’s still not clear how much this rule applies to video calls. The SEC’s many enforcement actions, which led to fines of over $2 billion, show a larger trend of increased regulatory control in communication compliance.

Problems with Video Calls Technology

Matt Smith, CEO of cybersecurity company SteelEye, talks about the unique dangers that video calls bring. The technology that needed to quickly screen these calls not widely used yet, which means that wrongdoing will possible. It is a problem when private information shared visually, since audio records might not catch these kinds of conversations. Surveillance apps also have a hard time finding people who use chat features and emoji-style responses on video call platforms.

Thoughts to End

The finance business is going through uncharted territory as tighter regulations and faster technological progress go hand in hand. The SEC’s ongoing investigations and the possibility of making video calls recordable more often show that communication compliance is becoming more important. In the fast-paced world of finance, the business needs to adapt to these changes by putting in place strong record-keeping and compliance measures.