Industry Insight

What Are Financial Firms Saying About 2023’s Regulatory Squeeze?

January 10, 2024by Smarsh

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Over the past year, we’ve referenced the many, many headlines of record-breaking fines being levied against financial services firms for failure to meet recordkeeping requirements.

Firms are reading the same articles – and feeling adrift about how to shore up their communications compliance strategies.

We recently surveyed regulated firms to get a ‘lay of the land’ of the financial services sector regarding the retention and oversight of digital communications. In short, we’ve learned that it’s been a tough year for firms to find their compliance footing given the following:

  • In-office vs. remote culture clashes
  • Readily available generative AI technologies
  • Growing cybersecurity and data privacy concerns
  • Unprecedented volume of new, updated and expected regulatory updates

There are simply too many questions for firms, like:

  • “Should we allow the use of WhatsApp?”
  • “Is our compliance strategy still good enough?”
  • “What are we supposed to do when regulatory requirements evolve?”
  • “How can we make our compliance controls nimble and responsive enough for
    further regulatory changes?”

How are firms reacting to increased scrutiny?

Our research methods consisted of a 15-question online survey of 229 respondents with communication compliance responsibilities, conducted Sept-Oct 2023. Here’s a glimpse into the results:

  • Collaboration apps are most popular with hybrid firms (82%); surprisingly, office-only and remote-first are at a near tie (68% and 66%, respectively)
  • Remote firms are more likely to use emerging social media apps — hybrid and office-first firms seem to take the “wait and see” approach
  • SMS text messaging continues to be a struggle
  • The concern of new regulations is growing from 46% in 2020 to 65% in 2023
  • Only 29% of respondents feel comfortable with their existing digital communications policies
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Get the full report

As communication technology advances and regulations evolve, firms must keep up with and have a deep understanding of both. Regulators are zeroing in on how and what firms use to communicate, and we expect that these regulatory changes and updates are only the beginning. There’s a lot to unpack, so get the full survey results and analysis from leading industry experts.

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