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There are non-nefarious reasons bankers and the like might choose to use a messaging service such as WhatsApp or Signal (well, probably not Signal) on a personal device. Specifically, they’re a lot quicker, more convenient and interactive than the sort of modes of communication officially sanctioned by their employers, and those employers’ regulators, such as e-mail.

Of course, there are also nefarious reasons, specifically that no one is looking at what you’re saying or doing on those devices. Allow one Bank of America trader explain:

"We use WhatsApp all the time but we delete convos regularly."

Which, if you were wondering, is the sort of convo you should be deleting regularly, because if you don’t and the SEC and CFTC find it, it sort of blows the whole game away. As it has done.

U.S. regulators on Tuesday fined 16 financial firms, including Barclays, Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS, a combined $1.8 billion after staff discussed deals and trades on their personal devices and apps….

The head of a trading desk routinely directed traders to delete messages on personal devices and to use Signal, including during the CFTC's probe.

In another example, a Nomura trader deleted messages, which included incriminating statements about trading, after the CFTC sent a request to preserve documents, her office said.

U.S. fines 16 Wall Street firms $1.8 billion for talking deals, trades on personal apps [Reuters via Yahoo!]
Wall Street to Pay $1.8 Billion in Fines Over Traders’ Use of Banned Messaging Apps [WSJ]

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