Several U.S. financial firms, including multiple Wells Fargo companies, will pay a combined US$549 million in fines after admitting they couldn’t produce discussions about company business from smartphone messaging apps (such as Apple’s Message) used by their employees, “including those at senior levels,” reports The Verge.
Both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined banks for being unable to produce discussions going back to at least 2019. The regulators say employees used their personal devices to discuss official company business via apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, or Signal and that those “off-channel communications” weren’t “maintained or preserved.”
The Verge notes that not keeping records of those conversations violates the 1934 Securities Exchange Act’s record-keeping rules, as well as similar rules from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, according to the SEC. The CFTC maintains its own record-keeping requirements, which it says were violated.
“The firms admitted the facts set forth in their respective SEC orders,” according to the SEC. “They acknowledged that their conduct violated record-keeping provisions of the federal securities laws, agreed to pay combined penalties of $289 million as outlined below, and have begun implementing improvements to their compliance policies and procedures to address these violations.”
Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today