HSBC is making a major move to regulate how employees communicate.
The financial services company is reportedly preventing its workers from being able to text on company-issued phones per Bloomberg.
“Banks use a wide range of approved channels to communicate in compliance with regulatory obligations,” a spokesperson for the bank told Bloomberg. “HSBC, like many other banks, reviews and adjusts functionality on its corporate devices as needed.”
The action reportedly comes after the company found themselves in hot water with the FTC after failing to evaluate unauthorized messaging apps usage that caused record-keeping infractions. “The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission fined the lender $30 million and $15 million, respectively,” HR dive writes about the manner.
“A small number of workers will still be allowed to text from their work phones, where texts are archived,” the outlet wrote. “Personal devices are not included in the ban.”
HSBC is not the only bank to face reprimands for recordkeeping infractions. Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley paid a combined $1.8 billion in September 2022 to settle the violations, according to a HR Dive report.
“It’s time for Wall Street to stop waiting for an enforcement action before it changes its practices,” CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero said at the time. “Change can only happen if the banks’ C-suite establishes a culture of compliance over evasion.”
“If client calls are held over Microsoft Teams, then [regulators] would expect these to be captured,” said Matthew Nunan, who formerly led conduct risk for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Morgan Stanley.
“The issue is the ability of firms to record, retain and produce relevant business records, however they are made,” Nunan said.