Surveillance, compliance and communication

Organisations can reap business rewards by ensuring new communication channels adhere to existing regulatory obligations

Dave Ackerman
By Dave Ackerman on 10 March 2021
Surveillance, compliance and communication
NICE

The way the world communicates has fundamentally changed as a result of Covid-19 and various quarantine protocols. There is perhaps no greater evidence of this than in financial services. To maintain continuity of service to their clients, business units quickly adopted unified communications into their sales processes, trading operations and back-office activities. Seemingly overnight, expensive lunches, in-person meetings and networking events were replaced by Microsoft Teams video calls. 

The sudden adaptation created a significant challenge – how to allow for new communication channels while adhering to existing regulatory recording obligations. In an impressive show of resilience, compliance teams all over the globe are successfully implementing omnichannel Teams recording programs to ensure effective operations, maintain market stability and adhere to their various books and records obligations. As the industry continues to acclimatise to this new normal of doing business, another question emerges. Now that we can record video, what do we do with it?

Compliance procedures designed to surveil for malfeasance traditionally look at market data, trade data, voice and e-comms (chat and email). The policies, analytics and technology created around those data points are well-established, but since widespread use of video communication is a new phenomenon, its incorporation into legacy policies and procedures is non-existent. Compliance executives are now faced with the monumental task of incorporating video into their holistic surveillance capabilities. To make the mission less daunting, compliance executives should internally review the following three key considerations to incorporate video into their routine compliance process.

A firm’s first step is a regulatory analysis, with a particular focus on developing a risk-based approach and a clear strategy. Consider questions related to records requirements and jurisdictional differences. Firms must then evaluate data privacy concerns. In Europe for example, it is paramount to define what parameters trigger a necessary, lawful basis to review recordings. Lastly, firms must examine challenges associated with data storage and capacity. Consider questions relating to where data centres are physically located and how data deletion is controlled.

Video communication seems universally recognised as a necessary tool for doing business in ‘The New Normal’. The ability to capture that video has been resolved and now the mission begins to use video effectively for monitoring purposes. Using the starting points above, compliance teams can add a powerful new tool to their surveillance capabilities while maintaining the communication tool for business operations. 

Dave Ackerman, Esq. is a regulatory and compliance expert at NICE

This article was originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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