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Morgan Stanley Cracks Down on Staff Using WhatsApp

Morgan Stanley Cracks Down on Staff Using WhatsApp
28 October 2020

Morgan Stanley has reportedly investigated two senior members of staff who were using the unauthorised messaging platform.

The Head of Commodities Trading and the Global Head of Commodities are both to leave Morgan Stanley as a result, according to Bloomberg. It is not thought that any wrongdoing had taken place within the conversations.

With the prevalence of home working, banks and accounting firms have been keen to maintain the same surveillance and high level of monitoring as expected in the office. This includes preventing staff from communicating using encrypted chat services such as WhatsApp.

WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption means that only the sender and recipient of the messages can read them, making it difficult for businesses to monitor.


Financial Conduct Authority Clear on Rules


Just two weeks ago, Julia Hoggett, the FCA’s Director for Market Oversight, directly emphasised the importance of maintaining standards of compliance despite home working trends. 

Strict regulations apply to the finance industry, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made their position clear, the same level surveillance should apply to home workers.

Hoggett spoke at The City Financial Global Event on 12 October 2020, stating that “We expect firms to have updated their policies, refreshed their training and put in place rigorous oversight reflecting the new environment – particularly regarding the risk of use of privately owned devices.”

In April this year, PMorgan Chase & Co reprimanded several of their traders for using WhatsApp at work, with one being fired and the rest having their bonuses cut. 

Picture: a photograph of a smartphone

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 28 October 2020


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