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FSA warns finance firms regarding compliance with new mobile phone recording rules

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New compliance requirements arise in November this year for many UK finance industry firms, including hedge fund managers, dealers, traders, stockbrokers and some financial advisers. For the first time, it will be mandatory to record mobile telephone conversations, in a bid by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to crack down on market abuse.

Some firms had hoped that simply prohibiting employees from using their mobile phones for business-related calls would avoid the need to implement mobile call recording solutions, but at a seminar hosted by Voxsmart, in conjunction with Actiance, this approach was rejected by the FSA representative as insufficient for compliance.

The pressure is therefore now on all affected firms to have their mobile call recording arrangements in place for the 14th November deadline.

Sally-Ann Angel, CEO of Voxsmart, a leading provider of software only mobile voice recording solutions to meet these latest obligations, says: ‘The Financial Services Authority introduced mandatory fixed line call recording in 2009 and at the time said they would investigate whether it would be possible to extend the regulations to mobile recordings also, so when they announced this extension to the rules it was no surprise. It is clear that some firms had hoped simply to instruct employees not to conduct regulated business using their mobile phone, partly because of largely unfounded fears over the cost and difficulty of implementing a technical solution. Now that the FSA have clarified that this will not be sufficient, firms have a short time to put their plans in place.’

Voxsmart believe that their VoxRecord solution, which requires no hardware and which integrates with the existing company infrastructure, provides a secure, cost effective and easy-to-deploy solution to the issue.

The firm’s technology is designed specifically for recording calls on BlackBerry® smartphones and the product is currently being trialled by many of the largest financial institutions in the City in advance of the regulations implementation. Version 2 of the software, VoxRecord 2.0, is due to be released in April.

John Enoch, Voxsmart’s COO, says: ‘Our customers and strategic partners were telling us that none of the existing products on the market enabled customers to have a sufficient degree of flexibility and control over the deployment and management of their mobile recording systems or had optimal disaster recovery capabilities – both of which are critical issues for financial institutions. The VoxRecord 2.0 release solves these problems and gives the VoxRecord product a unique capability in the field of mobile voice recording technology.’

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