Deutsche Bank has begun recording and monitoring some of its employees’ WhatsApp messages, five weeks after Financial News revealed some of the world’s biggest banks were testing new tech to track staff communication on the popular messaging app.
The technology has been developed by Symphony, the communications provider for banks set up to rival Bloomberg, to help compliance teams better monitor employees’ communication.
In a statement today, Symphony said Deutsche Bank employees could now “communicate with clients anytime, anywhere via their preferred chat platform”.
The statement added: “The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus how important it is for banks to stay in close contact with clients to provide advice and expertise during this challenging period.”
Symphony’s new system provides a version of WhatsApp on its platform for its clients. WhatsApp conversations held on the platform can then be recorded so that lenders’ compliance teams can analyse the data to monitor employees’ exchanges with colleagues and clients, a person familiar with the matter told FN.
Stefan Hoops, head of the corporate bank at Deutsche Bank, said: “The integration of WhatsApp with Symphony means we, and other businesses in the bank, can make interactions with our clients even easier when they need us most.”
Many banks require the use of compliance-approved company devices for communication — driven by rules that mandate the monitoring of phone calls, emails and texts among their frontline workers.
Deutsche Bank was previously one of several banks to ban their staff from using WhatsApp because its use of end-to-end encryption makes it difficult to monitor. A spike in the use of the app during the coronavirus crisis has forced many banks to rethink their approach, however.
Deutsche Bank has now altered its rules to allow employees to use WhatsApp via the Symphony platform.
Symphony, which is backed by financial services giants including Goldman Sachs, counts the US lender as well as JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley as clients alongside Deutsche Bank.
To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Lucy McNulty