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MiFID and Mobile Call Recording – the turbulent relationship

MiFID and Mobile Call Recording – the turbulent relationship

To set the scene on the Brexit stage, on the 24th June, the FCA issued a “Statement on European Union referendum result” stating that:

“Firms must continue to abide by their obligations under UK law, including those derived from EU law and continue with implementation plans for legislation that is still to come into effect”.

MiFID II therefore still represents a colossal change – Brexit or no Brexit. As regulatory framework for the financial industry tightens, financial institutions are being called upon to record “all communications that are intended to lead to a transaction”.

So what does this really mean for mobile call recording?

MiFID and Mobile

MiFID and Mobile Call Recording

MiFID II – the trials and tribulations continue

Let’s go briefly back in time. The original MiFID gave EU member states the discretion to decide which telephone conversations were to be recorded. In 2011, the UK’s financial regulator (the FSA now called the FCA) put a spanner in the works by enforcing that all relevant mobile communications between traders had to be recorded – including both SMS and voice.

Let’s bring it back to the present day – as a result, MiFID II now makes the recording of mobile conversations mandatory, regardless of whether a conversation is on a personal or company-owned device. For many businesses worldwide this means change. Thousands of firms will have to begin recording all forms of communications that are related to a trade; and hundreds of thousands of additional users will now have to have their mobile interactions recorded.

Compliant mobile call recording solutions

When the need for mobile call recording was introduced, most of the solutions on offer relied on applications being installed on the mobile handset to route the call via a call recording system. These applications were considered highly unstable and were not trusted by the financial industry. Elements of risk of failure, as well as risk of being tampered meant they could not be put forth as ‘truly’ compliant solutions.

Today, mobile recording technologies have matured and the ‘In Network’ SIM-based recording solutions no longer rely on application-based recording. These solutions utilise the call routing being carried out by the mobile network provider, with a duplicate stream of the call being sent to the recording solution.  The advantage to this is a more reliable and seamless user experience, as well as the ability of some network-based solution providers to tailor the recording solution according to the customers’ requirements. This for example, may include working with the financial institution’s existing infrastructure to dual stream recordings into different call recording platforms.

What are some of the main considerations to keep in mind?

MiFID II is approaching and even if adoption of the specific directive does not happen, the FCA may well incorporate similar requirements to the UK’s regulatory framework for financial institutions. If you do not already have a mobile call recording system, here are some main considerations to keep in mind when sourcing one:

Hosted or on-premise

Hosted solutions can provide the same level of functionality and robustness as an on-premise solution, and could also be equally secure, however due to the culture of control which Financial organisations cultivate, on-premise is normally the preferred option. Another consideration due to MiFiD II enforcing a five-year retention period for all forms of communication is storage costs which may vary depending on whether you are considering hosted or on-premise solution. Some hosted providers for example will charge a premium for storage; with the approaching deadline of MiFID II this may present them with a perfect opportunity to elevate their storage charges.

Roaming whilst abroad

Do you require calls to be recorded whilst roaming? Typically, there is a roaming restriction around the CAMEL network (Customised Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic). If a call does indeed need to be recorded while abroad, the user will need to be in one of the countries that is within the CAMEL network (for inbound recorded calls there are only a very select few countries who are not on the CAMEL network).

Recording resilience

With MiFID regulations firmly stating that organisations must be aware of periods that do not comply with record-keeping requirements (such as component failure within the voice recording system), it is worth considering solutions which allow recording failover. In the event of a component failure, these systems will allow the solution to either failover to a secondary recording system or would consist of two separate recording systems recording the same audio.

Our advice on MiFID II continues – in order to stay one step ahead of the game, firms should look at how technology can help them to efficiently achieve and adhere to compliance regulations. So just how prepared are you for MiFID II? If you have any questions contact our team to find out how we can help with your compliance obligations.

For more information on mobile call recording you may be interested in the following articles:

Answering the compliance call

The evolution of mobile call recording

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