The challenges of enforcing regulations against the use of off-channel communications have gone beyond encrypted apps such as WhatsApp, industry participants say
Wall Street firms are facing a problem that is growing more difficult by the day: how to capture staff communications as required by regulators while the ways their employees talk to each other keep changing.
On one hand, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been cracking down on so-called off-channel communications, where employees use personal devices and banned apps to send business-related messages that rules say must be recorded. On the other hand, the ways people communicate have changed since the regulations were first enacted, with almost everyone texting about almost everything these days.
The SEC since December 2021 has filed charges against 40 firms and imposed more than $1.5 billion in fines for failing to maintain and preserve electronic communications, according to a speech given last week by Gurbir Grewal, the SEC’senforcement division chief.