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U.K. Requires Financial Services Business to Record Electronic Communications

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom regulates financial services firms. It publishes a handbook which sets rules to be followed by banks, financial advisors, and other businesses. Chapter 10A of the handbook details regulations for how these entities record telephone conversations and other electronic communications. Section 10A.1.6 states that, "[a] firm must take all reasonable steps to record telephone conversations, and keep a copy of electronic communications", that relate to certain activities in financial instruments. This addresses the possible use of personal email or encrypted messaging apps to conduct business transactions. Section 10A.1.7 requires a firm to, "take all reasonable steps to prevent an employee or contractor from making, sending, or receiving relevant telephone conversations and electronic communications on privately-owned equipment which the firm is unable to record or copy".

Businesses are required to disclose to clients that communications will be recorded. The handbook does not overlook discussions in face-to-face meetings, and states that, "[c]lient instructions given otherwise than by telephone must be made in a durable medium such as by mail, faxes, emails or documentation of client instructions issued at meetings. In particular, the content of relevant face-to-face conversations with a client may be recorded by using written minutes or notes."

The Financial Conduct Authority mandates that communications be retained for five years, and that these communications be disclosed to a client upon request.


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