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Financial Services Companies Prepare for New Monitoring Rules

April 03, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - TMCnet Contributor

If there’s one industry that bears the heaviest burden of call monitoring and call recording, it’s the financial services industry. On both sides of the Atlantic, U.S. and UK, the banking industry is ruled by a complex set of regulations with regarding to monitoring, recording and storing transactions to remain compliant with government directives.

In the UK, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) will go into effect in January of 2018. The directive will extend the current financial sector recording requirements to financial adviser firms and wealth managers, broadening existing legislation to more companies in the industry. Companies covered by the rule must record calls to protect the interests of clients by providing indisputable proof of the type of advice received.

Financial services companies are now struggling to understand what it means for them, and how to implement the technology to avoid non-compliance. In a recent article for Professional Advisor, Andy MacGregor, managing director of Face for Business, noted that it’s been estimated that only 10 percent of advisors are currently recording telephone calls.

“MIFID II has proved a contentious subject, garnering at best a mixed response from the advice sector,” wrote MacGregor. “Concerns about implementation costs and client confidentiality feature highly, with the FCA proposals branded ‘a step too far' in a recent survey of members of the New Model Business Academy.”

But call recording technology, when implemented properly, can yield benefits far beyond simply protecting clients. It can also help protect the organization that records the calls from legal action (eliminating “he said, she said” scenarios). Additionally, it can also lead to workforce optimization by helping the company identify procedural roadblocks or problematic customer support barriers as well as under-performing workers. That said, picking a solution is easier said than done. There are myriad call-recording offerings on the market, many purporting to be all-encompassing, record-everything packages, according to MacGregor.

Companies should choose carefully by auditing their own telephony assets first before determining what type of solution they need. They may also wish to turn to a third-party service that has other clients in the financial sector.

“All calls in to the service are recorded end-to-end, including the part of the call that is transferred to the client,” he wrote. “Clients can also record outgoing calls by calling in and asking to be transferred to another number. Incoming calls are not charged for call recording and there is a small transfer cost for outgoing recorded calls, meaning advisers can choose which outgoing calls they record, without paying anything like the subscription costs for app or network call recording solutions.”

Whichever option financial services providers choose, they should be certain it satisfies compliance with regulations, but also provides secondary (and even tertiary) benefits. Look for solutions or services that also monitor for quality and workforce optimization. That way, the new regulations will seem a bit less onerous if the solution is delivering tangible business benefits. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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