The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented measures, both for the governments and firms. It has significantly changed how the securities industry conducts daily operations, especially with the need to transit the workforce to remote work environments to limit the virus’s spread.

While there are still employees working on-site, the majority was encouraged and mandated to work remotely. With recent changes, it involves adapting to a new environment and circumstances. 

FINRA released a regulatory notice in light of such concerns, sharing common themes on the transition to remote work and remote supervision after discussion with various firms of different sizes about the steps they took for a smooth transition toa new work environment.

Included in the notice are different practices that securities firms can follow. Should they do, it can enhance their supervisory efforts and compliance programs, including text messaging compliance. FINRA also reminded firms to implement a reasonably designed supervisory system appropriate for their business size and model.

Among the challenges that FINRA discussed with various firms is the supervision in a remote working environment. 

While many firms acknowledge the difficulty of remote supervision, others have existing supervisory tools, making them relatively prepared. Some even took additional steps to address various supervisory concerns and compliance issues effectively. 

It includes determining effective practices and lessons learned on remote working, primarily focusing on critical compliance topics relating to call monitoring, mobile devices, privacy, and recordkeeping requirements.

Many employees rely on messaging applications like WeChat and WhatsApp, which are highly prevalent today. As such, firms should implement strict measures in ensuring that text messaging compliance is followed. 

Firms can consider TeleMessage to effectively capture, archive, and monitor mobile communication, including SMS, MMS, and Voice calls, and can even enable whatsapp archiving. Furthermore, it can address compliance, regulatory, eDiscovery response requirements and reduce risks for industries.

Want to learn more about FINRA’s notice regarding the transition to remote work and remote supervision? Click this infographic from TeleMessage.