Globally, there is an emerging trend of monitoring the corporate-communications at the Banks and the Financial Institutions. Even the messaging through personalized channels such as WhatsApp have now become a subject of surveillance and monitoring by the compliance wings of the banks and regulators across the globe.
The regulators in the jurisdictions of UK, Germany and US are in the advanced stages of monitoring the communications between a Client a Banker The reported instances of staff-sackings over the pretext of “Undisclosed Communications” at Credit Suisse and Chase are also reshaping “how bankers’ talk to their clients”
The recent examples of impositions of fines in (millions of dollars) by the apex regulators to the big institutions like JPMorgan and Chase for allowing their staff to use WhatsApp and other open-ended free-ware communication tools are setting-up agenda for governance and future outlook of financial sector of South-Asian Economies.
Pakistan happens to be unique case in the south Asian region, where stringent monitoring are already in place, and the country is going through inducting compliance function at the Financial Institution, and each high-value-transaction is supposed to be monitored from the aspect of AML/CFT. The Financial Action Task Force visit of October-2022 would greatly focus over the penalties that have recently been imposed by the central bank over Pakistani Bank, and would also look into the control and compensating-controls which have been inducted by the Banking Institutions in Pakistan.
Given the present situation, where global banks have inducted process to restrict the use of personal phones for communication with clients and having work-phones configured with “Revamped-WhatsApp” that keeps an eye over the staff communication with client. For example, Deutsche Bank is said to have installed an app over the work-phones of the critical employees to keep an eye over the staff that communicates with clients.
A line-authority push at the compliance wings of the Banking sector has gone up recently, as the regulators across the globe are focused on bankers’ use of messaging apps and personal devices. The recent regulatory developments requiring messages, and talks be recorded is a challenge Fintech Companies across the globe are trying to come up with a response.
Pakistan is not an exception, it is expected central bank would also ask the Pakistani Banks to document and report the communication methods, which could follow a directive to develop practices and adopt solution which that has compliance monitoring capabilities for communications via informal media.
There are host of tools available in the local and global market which facilitate messaging. Some of these tools have built-in control features, while some inducts control in the messaging products such as WhatsApp, whereas, there is a third category, where a bank has its own white-labelled, secure WhatsApp Product (like) product which is customized in accordance with specific compliance and monitoring requirement for within and outside office communications.
The Author is an Independent Capital Market Expert