Think MiFID II oversight was just a European Union thing? Think again.
Earlier this month, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority quietly “gold plated” the new EU rule, effectively incorporating the EU directive into UK law. On the surface, this isn’t entirely unheard of. UK authorities have adopted dozens of EU regulations over the years.
But this time, it’s different.
According to report in The Register from early January: “The UK version of the rule, which came into force on January 3, prohibits any business regulated by the FCA from letting its employees communicate with each other or the outside world "on privately owned equipment which the firm is unable to record or copy."”
That’s right, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are effectively banned at UK financial services firms.
That’s different than original version of the rule, contained in the European Union's Market In Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID II), which restricted this provision only to investment firms, not the entire financial sector. Even self-employed advisors are covered by this new directive.
The solution? Firms will have to monitor all of their employees’ communications, even on their personal devices.
Per the story in The Register:
James Hogbin, a director of IT services biz IP Sentinel, told us: "I run IT for a number of financial services companies and I don't have a clue how I'm going to do it. You can't block FaceTime. What about LinkedIn or Skype chats? Audio you can do, that's easy, but the text?"
The point of the new MIFID rules is to set out what calls and messages to and from financial bodies must be recorded, in case regulators want to investigate consumer complaints or allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
"For those firms caught in the call recording net," said Hogbin, "unless you can control your users' personal devices and explicitly turn off or block WhatsApp, FaceTime, iMessage, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slack, HipChat, o365 Teams, personal email, text messaging, and also perform web blocking so users can't access the browser-based versions, the only thing you can do is have a policy stating smart and mobile phones are banned."Actually, that’s not the only thing you can do.
With BYOD policies on the line, UK financial services firms are going to need to monitor everything that happens on their employees’ devices, from chat, to IM, to email and more.
Guess what? Whistler’s solution does just that, taking advantage of the latest artificial intelligence and archiving technologies. For UK financial services firms, they may not longer be an option.