Fairwords Weekly: Policing & Preserving Off-Channel Communications, Compliance in a Crisis, and Emerging Trends
May 11, 2023
“Financial institutions are like ships at sea, vulnerable to crises that arise unexpectedly. Like a ship struck by a wave, the institution has an urgent need to regain stability. Compliance teams are well-positioned to help right the ship and navigate through the crisis.”
This week, we learn about the expectations of rapidly evolving digital communication preservation, regulatory guidelines, and what this means for firms to remain compliant with an increased focus on off-channel communications. We also consider the role of compliance in a crisis and how to utilize it to stabilize the situation. Finally, explore emerging issues and best practices for ensuring effective compliance programs.
As of January, the National Archives and Records Administration acknowledges through preservation requirements that most people use multiple devices and platforms to communicate about work and that important conversations occur outside of paper and email. As a result, agencies should expect guidelines to evolve rapidly as digital natives become more prevalent in the workforce and diversify the tools they use. To ensure compliance, agencies should create, distribute, and audit policies outlining where and when employees can discuss their work. They should also ensure they have the technology to collect and store relevant data, especially for new data types like chats, cell phone messages, and app data. Finally, they should adopt cloud-native technologies and regularly review and update policies to future-proof against emerging trends.
Financial institutions, like ships at sea, are vulnerable to unexpected crises that can have regulatory, financial, and legal implications. Compliance teams can help these institutions right the ship and navigate through crises. Situations can arise from various external and internal events, such as geopolitical developments, liquidity problems, cyber events, data breaches, domestic violent extremism, internal investigations, litigation or enforcement actions, and natural disasters. These events can cause damage to the institution’s brand or reputation and lead to negative comments on social media, shareholder expectations, and regulatory scrutiny. Therefore, compliance professionals must establish basic skills and relationships to help stabilize their organizations during crises.