Open-Tec offers a lifeline as the clock ticks towards FSA’s March 09 MiFID deadline to record all telephone conversations and electronic communications

19 January 2009

As the clock ticks towards the FSA’s March 6th 2009 deadline to record telephone conversations and electronic communications, Open-Tec, developer of Cstore™ Compliant Information Repository solution for compliant mobile voice and SMS recording and storage, offers advice to all those affected. The Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) will impact everyone providing investment advice or transaction services, from IFAs to investment banks, their clients and anyone providing market information such as exchanges and market data providers.

MiFID states that a firm must take reasonable steps to retain all records made by it for a period of at least six months and in a medium that permits the FSA to access the records readily. Where corrections or amendments are required to such records then the situation prior to these changes should also be easily ascertained from the records – i.e an audit trail needs to be maintained of the changes made. This new requirement will help firms to deter market abuse if staff know that their conversations are going to be recorded. 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.

Alan Stewart, Director of Open-Tec, explains: “MiFID puts IT departments within financial organisations under yet more pressure to provide the right solution to the business. Historically IT suppliers have not been able to provide a single solution that solves all of these regulatory requirements and also protects against future changes. However with the introduction of Cstore™ from Open-Tec, combined with Obsidian Wireless’s Mobile voice and SMS recording solution, everything required by the regulators and the business is easily achievable, affordable and seamless.”

Interestingly and perhaps in part due to the recent issues within the Financial industry, the use of videoconferencing has significantly increased and this of course then becomes another type of business record that falls under the remit of MiFID. OpenTec have also partnered with award-winning videoconferencing network provider, vc-net to offer a unique proposition in the market for the recording and storing of all mobile voice, SMS and videoconferencing information.

Open-Tec’s 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.

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