The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has highlighted the importance of having up-to-date recordkeeping policies to reflect the growing use of electronic communication tools such as WhatsApp in work-from-home arrangements.
The caution expressed by the FC reflects common compliance challenges facing financial services firms around the globe.
The FCA's expectations concerning the recording of telephone conversations and e-communications are set out in a recent newsletter which emphasizes the compliance challenges and risks when various messaging, voice, and video collaboration tools are used outside the normal workplace environment.
The FCA reminds firms that recording obligations apply to conversations and communications made with, sent from, or received on, equipment provided or permitted to be used for business purposes.
Communications that directly relate to the performance of in-scope financial services activities must be kept. The FCA explains that communications intended to lead up to these regulated activities being performed should also be identified, including where there is a reasonable prospect of these activities being performed. In certain instances, this could also include internal conversations regarding regulated activities.
Firms will need to ensure that, if such apps are used for in-scope activities on business devices, they are recorded and auditable.