As 2021 comes to a close at VoxSmart we are taking stock of the news events which came to light over the last 12 months. Here are just some of the headlines which stood out!
In January the FCA set out their increased expectations for firms recording telephone conversations while operating in alternative working arrangements in their Market Watch 66 newsletter. This marked the first clear message from the UK Regulator addressing the risks associated with social media communication platforms such as WhatsApp within regulated markets, following the surge in use over the pandemic.
Winning big with GameStop rocked the headlines in February of this year as the retail investors took on the Wall Street giants. What initially started out as a call to save a struggling video game retailers in the US, turned into a global phenomenon with shares jumping from $40 to almost $400 in a matter of days. Following the announcement of restriction regarding new share purchases by Robinhood, a commission-free investing app, uproar ensued among the online trading community calling the move blatant market manipulation and protecting the short sellers. A financial dilemma that not many would have envisioned, yet an uptake in wider interest in financial markets!
April brought turmoil to the financial world with the collapse of Archegos Capital, which saw the liquidation of around $30 trillion of US and Chinese stocks and one of the biggest margin calls of all time – shining light on a dark derivatives underbelly.
Following months of hybrid working models Reuters reported that the U.S SEC had opened a broad inquiry into how Wall Street banks are keeping track of employees’ digital communications. This highlighted the regulators commitment to ramping up enforcements as well as casting light onto the challenges faced by firms in keeping track of communications created by WFH.
October saw a decrease in trading, caused by the WhatsApp outage which lasted hours disrupting the lives of many users, cutting off business from customers and disturbing trade communications as reported by The New York Times. The outage called attention to the importance and wide use of the social media platform in financial markets and that the use of alternative messengers, like Telegram or Signal. This, according to Oliver Blower, VoxSmart CEO, will only grow in the future despite boss preferences.
Many big news events in 2021, and many more to come in 2022. What can be taken from the last 12 months is that now, more than ever, it is of vital importance to have the correct surveillance structures in place to safeguard against non-compliance.
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