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Friday, June 17, 2022 - Deutsche Bank staff forced to install app that tracks messages
Deutsche Bank
Source - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/06/17/bankers-made-install-app-tracks-messages/
Where - Germany
Business line - Corporate Services
Copyright © The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk) 2022

Bankers at Germany’s largest lender are being made to install an app that tracks communications on their phones as regulators clamp down on messaging between bankers and clients on platforms like WhatsApp.

In the past several weeks Deutsche Bank has told some employees to download Movius, a US mobile app that enables compliance staff to monitor people’s calls, text messages, and WhatsApp conversations, according to the Financial Times.

It is understood that the roll-out has been focused on work phones and not private devices.

The monitoring push comes as regulators around the world become increasingly focused on bankers’ use of messaging apps. Last year, JP Morgan Chase was fined $200m by US regulators for failing to keep records of staff communications on personal devices.

Senior managers at lenders have become more sensitive to private messaging as a result of the scrutiny. Many banks revealed in recent annual reports that they were facing investigations by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding the use of inappropriate channels for business discussions.

“Maintenance of complete and accurate books and records is required in order to operate in our industry, as is diligent supervision,” said Rostin Behnam, acting chairman at the CFTC, which regulates US derivatives markets.
He added that monetary penalties were intended to send a clear message that the CFTC would "aggressively investigate potential recordkeeping and related supervision violations".

Since then, HSBC and Credit Suisse have both fired bankers this year after discovering undisclosed communications.

A senior Credit Suisse banker was removed from his post for using an unauthorised messaging app.

Across the industry, banks have resorted to using software to keep a closer eye on their workers. During the pandemic Movius emerged as the favoured app among banks looking to keep tabs on staff who work in heavily regulated roles, such as trading.

JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Julius Baer, Jefferies and Cantor Fitzgerald have all made use of the software in recent years, the FT reported.

German regulator Bafin had previously asked Deutsche Bank to provide information about its employees’ communication methods and was said to be working on a fix to improve its compliance monitoring capabilities, Bloomberg reported.

Not all third-party communications platforms are prohibited. Financial services messaging systems, such as Symphony, or the messaging function on the Bloomberg Terminal are widely used tools in the sharing of commercially sensitive information.

Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and HSBC were contacted for comment.