FCA Gets Tough on Slack Governance

In January’s Market Watch 66 newsletter, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reminded firms that the risks from misconduct might be heightened or increased by homeworking if employees use communications apps like WhatsApp to share potentially sensitive information connected to work.

Working From Home Undoubtedly Creates Risk & Competency Challenges For Employers

At the beginning of the pandemic, we released a popular Purple Paper called “Working From Home Undoubtedly Creates Risk & Competency Challenges”.

In the paper, we challenged firms to revisit their governance practices in Training & Competency and review the particular negative and disturbing changes to individual employees’ risk-taking and rule-breaking — a phenomenon not restricted to junior employees but equally applicable to Senior Managers & Certified staff.

It appears that the FCA is getting the message and is righty questioning what additional steps firms are taking to ensure governance standards are at least as robust now in a WFH environment as they were before C19 hit.

I say “additional” because any regulated firm reading this who hasn’t materially made changes to their employee governance practices addressing WFH, is almost certainly exposed.

I can imagine the atmosphere suddenly changing between the regulator and The Head of Compliance when the FCA supervisor asks,

“So, tell me, what specific changes did you make to your employee governance and control framework to address the loss of office-based controls like call-recording and video surveillance, whilst staff were working from home?” 

Cue much bum shuffling and mumbling I suspect!  

Adrian Harvey

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