During the last month we embarked on a series of lunches in central London, with our friends at RFA, to get some insight and information from both individual buy and sell side traders and also from some of the large scale trading institutions.
We outlined some of the requirements and regulations coming their way as a result of the recently published MiFID II regulations. Over four days, in the rather nice surroundings of Claridges hotel, we asked questions, gained both insight and answers, and also shared some knowledge of our own with a range of guests who were – in truth – just getting to grips with the detail of the new regulations.
Given the impenetrable language used in the official document, the UK’s consultation document, published by the FCA, was also useful reading for our guests. In turn, we are using the lunches to inform our response to the FCA.
What soon became obvious in our meetings was that – coupled with the dawning realisation that every single phone call and email in an organisation, even just internal ones, was potentially covered by the new regulations – the sheer volume of data that would be captured and require storage space was eye-watering.
“As the lunches were repeated on each of the days there was almost always a moment when you could see a very large “big data” penny drop, when guests realised that they would be faced with creating a sound and text archive to rival the BBC.”
Existing in-house recording systems might, just might, be able to handle the capturing element; but storage? No – not when the requirement is likely to be for five or seven years as a minimum and for “the duration of the client relationship” (presumably plus five or seven years) as a limitless maximum.
However, our participants could see advantages in easy retrieval systems – and also in emailed sound files of conversations that could be quickly listened to before next contact, or used as immediate evidence in the event of some unusual activity. They also appreciated that technology would have to take the lead and make recording immediate and seamless. It was agreed that regulating by banning devices or other policy measures was no longer sustainable – but that implementing the rules here in the UK in such a way as to enable fast, efficient trading with no delays was paramount.
We’re taking these industry soundings with us when we meet with the FCA. We know how powerful our technology can be when it comes to designing solutions. We have also now increased our knowledge and understanding of the issues from the perspective of the trading organisations – which was the whole point of the meetings.
We think it is important we keep the conversation going, so if you are interested in taking part in our next series of lunches – do let us know. We plan to hold them quarterly.