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Managing Cross Channel Communications in a Regulatory Swell


By Richard Mill, Managing Director of Business Systems (UK) Ltd

Financial service organisations have seen a flow of directives and regulations in recent times with MiFID II/MiFIR and GDPR– and these will not stop as the quest for more efficient markets and greater transparency continues. As a result it is imperative financial services organisations adopt a communications compliance recording solution that satisfies compliance, while also providing a competitive advantage, explains Richard Mill, MD of Business Systems (UK) Ltd


Richard Mill

Trust and credibility as we know are pivotal to the success of financial services organisations in the digital economy. Product mis-selling or unauthorised trading have a detrimental impact on an organisation’s industry reputation and public image that is difficult to salvage, not to mention having enormous financial consequences. To stop this happening, it is paramount that financial organisations keep complete and immutable records of their dealings and communications, which can be quickly and conveniently accessible.

This is quite a challenge in itself with a single communications channel, but today financial organisations are faced with omnichannel. A communication thread may start on a landline and move to a mobile, social media or SMS. To add to the complexity, it may include more than two parties. With this multifarious picture in mind, any voice recordings must be effortless to find and easy to play back if an audit or investigation is required.

The problem is where financial services organisations have deployed multiple solutions over time utilising very different call capture protocols, often without understanding the consequences. This has left them with data stored in disparate formats in separate silos, often across locations, with each stage compounding the issue and making it difficult if not impossible to track down data quickly when it is needed.

These repositories of siloed data have made data coherence across business operations almost impossible. Yet, this unification of data is essential in achieving common compliance goals. It is also crucial when it comes to a growing tide of regulatory directives with which financial organisations must comply – and there will be more coming to the forefront.

Be careful in your selection

With directives such as MiFID II and the data protection regulation GDPR, financial organisations must be able to produce records at short notice. These records can span years. Often they are stored away on legacy systems that are no longer supported. This is an expensive and arduous process in itself.

There are a host of solutions out there – but they aren’t all made equal. If you take a deep dive you will see that all vendor’s software comes with proprietary components.It is therefore essential that financial services organisations ensure they can transfer data from alternate or incompatible systems, or it will create huge issues in the future that may or may not be surmountable.

The good news is that there are solutions out there that can extract and manage data from a disparate range of capture and storage solutions from multiple vendors. These can be provided as a single central management portal with an intuitive interface. The results of these solutions are visible in terms of enhanced compliance, reduced costs, streamlined processes and informed decision making.

Taking this route, enables organisations to be more proactive with their data across multiple departments, providing a self-service platform for extracting voice recordings so that data can be analysed for trade reconstruction. Voice recordings that fall outside the retention periods can be pinpointed and deleted, reducing risk and cutting down on storage costs. In addition, legal teams will no longer have to spend hours trying to locate interactions and can instead focus on business value projects.

An omnichannel shift in thinking

With today’s omnichannel of communications, ranging from social media to email, web and voice, financial organisations have an enormous trail to keep track of. At the same time this data needs to be easily accessible. From a compliance point of view, this means seamlessly moving from one channel to another. As we get more connected with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), data will increase. Financial services organisations need to be prepared for this with robust, secure and scalable systems that can handle data diversity.

The practical solution for managing these huge amounts of disparate data streams will be through an agnostic central portal. One that can locate data easily from different systems and locations, be that ‘live’,on-premise, ‘live’ in the cloud or even obsolete legacy storage– enabling authorised users to view, manage, replay and pull out data swiftly and efficiently as required.

Regulations can be seen as yet another burden, but on the positive side they cultivate accountability and transparency, which instill trust in customers. Having a smart approach to omnichannel data will not only help to ensure compliance, but also improve the bottom line.

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