Earlier this year the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK announced that by March 2009 firms will have to record all telephone conversations and electronic communications (e-mail, instant messaging and faxes) involving client orders for the equity, bond and derivatives markets and retain the files for six months. The FSA regulations are being introduced in line with an EU review, including the addition of a taping requirement, under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
Mobile conversations have been made exempt from this regulation at present, this will be reviewed mid to late 2009. However it is expected that this will be included as the current typical solution, which is to ban use of mobile phones, is impractical.
Terry Cave, CEO of Open-Tec, whose flagship Cstoreâ¢ solution has been described by Bloor Research as having â...major disruptive market potential,â explains: âIn light of the impending increased scrutiny and regulation of the Financial Sector, itâs highly likely that the FSA will include mobile phones in its next review as it leaves a significant gap from a regulatory perspective. Given this backdrop, the more astute organisations are already looking for solutions to the recording and compliant storage of their mobile voice data in addition to the other sources. Working together with Obsidian Wireless, we can now offer the industryâs first available solution for compliant mobile voice and SMS recording and storage.â
The joint solution offers organisations a compliant repository or archive system that can take in all these different content feeds and store the data in a secure manner that allows the appropriate retention policies to be applied. It can index all the data to enable easy search and retrieval of the relevant information when it is needed. An additional and important piece of functionality is the ability to perform an electronic discovery on the data as it may well be required to be presented in a court proceeding. This then makes evidential weight important; an excellent measure of this is the code of practice from BSI, namely BSI BIP 0008, which is specifically written as a best practice to maximise the evidential weight of electronic data.
Paul Liesching, CEO of Obsidian Group, comments: âUp until now, IT Directors have looked at the market and the existing solutions and failed to find anything that will record and store all these sources. They often end up with yet more siloed systems that need to be supported by different skill sets and come under different procurement and maintenance contracts. Furthermore when the regulator or other body comes after this information for a case, they have the added challenge of retrieving data from multiple different systems that store different data in different structures and formats. Itâs costly and time intensive.
âWeâve taken all of these factors into account, the market pressures, the increasing technical challenges and the common market solutions in existence, and we have designed a solution that properly fits the bill and most importantly, one that is seamless to users.â
In summary, with the current regulatory impacts on the markets and the inevitable likely further tightening of the likes of MiFID around the recording and storing of relevant electronic communications, IT departments within financial organisations are under increasing pressure to provide the right solution to the business. Historically the IT suppliers have not been able to provide a single solution that solves all of these requirements and also protects against future changes. However with the introduction of Cstoreâ¢ from OpenTec, combined with Obsidian Wirelessâs Mobile voice and SMS recording solution, everything required by the regulators and the business is easily achievable, affordable and seamless.