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In the financial sector, managing compliance with regulatory requirements is an enormously complex challenge. Rapid technology advances in areas such as automated trading, while revolutionising everyday operations, are making the job of compliance tougher. Until relatively recently the use of mobile technologies in financial institutions—unarguably a boon to trader productivity and a rich source of new products and services—has escaped regulatory scrutiny in most developed countries.
In the United Kingdom that changed in 2011 when the Financial Services Authority—since reconstituted as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)—announced that it was time for investment firms to start recording “relevant communications” on mobile devices. As this article will show, the requirement poses numerous challenges to compliance officers, chief information officers and IT directors of financial institutions, and not just in relation to technology. There may, however, also be opportunities for firms which move faster to address the recording requirements.