Morgan Stanley imposes $1million penalties on bankers for using WhatsApp for official business

New York-based global investment bank Morgan Stanley has issued financial penalties for some of its employees with fines of up to over $1 million for using messaging platforms such as WhatsApp to conduct official business.

The move follows investigations into Morgan Stanley’s record keeping practices last year by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) and a monetary penalty of $200 million.

According to the Financial Times, the penalties on the bank’s employees have been either taken back from previous bonuses or from future pay, depending on their size.

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Reuters further reported that the penalty amounts were determined by the number of messages sent, seniority and whether the employees had already received warnings, as well as other factors.

In 2020, Morgan Stanley fired two senior employees at its commodity division for using personal messaging apps.

US regulators require broker-dealers to keep records of all business-related communications. Regulators have recently been investigating financial firms for their record keeping practices of their communications, including those made on social messaging applications.

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