Taming the Mobile Beast: How can mobile devices and trading floors work together under MiFID II?

The use of mobile devices in a trading environment has been a contentious issue for as long as mobile phones have been in mainstream use. As early as 2004, The Times was reporting on the growing number of financial firms who had banned traders in London using their mobiles at their trading desks, as concerns mounted over staff  reportedly using the technology to avoid their calls being monitored by compliance officers.

By 2012, the Libor scandal had thrown the scale of this risk into sharp relief as the impact of unmonitored collusion was felt around the world. By the time the London Fix scandal hit the FX markets, moves were already underway by the regulators to put in place stricter controls over all communications related to trading, most notably under the requirements of MiFID II.

Yet at the same time, the use of smartphones has become so prevalent that both traders and clients now both want, and expect, to be able to use the leading communication tools to facilitate their trading activities. As firms come under increasing pressure to allow the use of instant messaging apps, emails, SMS and voice, how do they then balance the compliance and oversight requirements with the increasing adoption of mobile technology into every tier of financial service provision?

In this Financial Markets Insights report, Nicola Tavendale and Mike O’Hara of The Realization Group speak to Societe Generale’s Paul Clulow-Phillips, Sam Tyfield of Shoosmiths, The Broker Club’s Sally Jones, Helen Bevis of SteelEye and Telstra’s Will Scott about the key challenges that firms face in this area and the various approaches that they can take to help balance and manage the risks.

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