The Financial Services Authority announced today that “relevant communications made with, sent from or received on mobile phones and other handheld devices must be recorded and stored for six months.” The new rule is expected to cost banks at least 10,000 pounds ($16,000) per phone, per year, which they are none too pleased about, especially given the pointlessness of the exercise. Is the UK regulator aware of the fact that if someone wants to insider trade, they’re gonna find a way, regardless of their work phone being tapped (like, for instance, using a personal phone or meeting in person to trade hot tips) and that the only thing they’re going to determine from these calls is which banks employ the highest number of bondage and clown fetishists? Yes, and they don’t care.
One investment bank told the FSA that it would cost 500,000 pounds monitor the calls of 50 users. Another global investment bank said the cost of recording BlackBerrys issued to front- office staff would be more than 2.6 million pounds a year, the FSA said.
“Many respondents’ argued that the benefits will not materialize as a result of individuals circumventing the rules,” the FSA said today. “It is true that determined and inventive individuals will always find ways to evade the rule. It is our contention that by having as comprehensive a taping regime as possible we limit the scope or temptation for employees to infringe the market abuse rules on fixed or mobile lines which are not taped.”