Financial watchdogs want to know what traders are talking about on WhatsApp


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uthorities in the US and the UK are taking a keen interest in the contents of WhatsApp messages among bank employees and their associates in the financial services industry.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is set to probe sector workers’ use of private messaging services as the watchdog increases scrutiny in line with the US.

According to Bloomberg, the FCA has requested information from Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and Nomura Holdings, among others, inquiring about the frequency and content of staff exchanges through texting and messaging apps.

In an email to The Register, an FCA spokesperson explained: “We are actively discussing personal device use with a range of UK authorized firms, not limited to those who may have been subjected to other regulatory enquiries. We are unable to comment on firm-specific supervisory issues at this stage.”

In September, 11 of the world’s most powerful financial firms were fined nearly $2 billion for off-channel comms. Banking giants including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup agreed to pay $1.1 billion in penalties to the SEC and $710 million in fines to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in separate actions for failing to monitor and stop their workers from using unauthorized messaging apps.



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