With less than twelve months to go before a UK deadline on City securities firms, to deploy mobile call recording solutions under new regulations, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) told firms at Business Systems recent industry forum to start talking to technology providers to arrange “reasonable and adequate” solutions.
Jocelyn McCafferty, a manager in the FSA’s Policy Conduct unit, discussing the cost/benefits, legal and timing issues around mobile recording in the UK, EU and internationally, told delegates: “This deadline is something that we will stand by. We believe there are sufficient solutions and suppliers in this space, both for the larger wholesale firm and smaller private client/stockbroker-type of firm, to put reasonable solutions in place within their organisation by 14 November 2011.”
Meeting the compliance requirement
Firms attending the event at Vinopolis in London last November were urged by McCafferty that if there were “genuine issues” facing firms as to why they were unable to meet the deadline, then financial organisations were to “alert” the UK financial regulator and talk to their Supervisor. They should also liaise with their relevant trade association to remedy any such issues.
However, while the FSA has not yet specified the extent of sanctions that could be imposed on firms failing to comply and whether this might include fines, McCafferty added that it was not going to be a case of “knocking on firms’ doors” to check whether compliance had been met after the deadline passes.
Purpose of the requirement
Ultimately the UK regulator will use recordings of firm-issued mobile phones to build up cases around securities market manipulation. “The FSA was not trying to trip firms up,” she said. Rather the new rules (COB 11.8 Taping Rules), which were announced less than two weeks before the event, are designed to increase the “quality of information” for building cases around market abuse.
Providing feedback on the recent consultation paper (CP10/7, 18/03/2010) and the rationale for the decision to impose call recording of mobiles with a retention period of six months, the FSA executive ran through five key themes that emerged from the feedback to the consultation. These included: Cost Benefits; Loopholes; EU and International Privacy Laws; Reasonable Steps (for compliance); and, The European Timetable.