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Bankers at JPMorgan are “panicking” over recent orders from the megabank to save all of their work-related text messages — even if they were tapped out on personal devices and apps.
The company is asking bankers, traders, and financial advisers to review messages on personal devices dating back to the beginning of 2018 and save any text that mentions work and every text to colleagues, according to a report.
The Wall Street giant headed by Jamie Dimon is even ordering the rank and file to scour their texts on encrypted apps like WhatsApp and WeChat that aren’t “tethered to work-surveillance systems,” according to a Bloomberg report (paywall).
JPMorgan is warning of “consequences” for financiers who fail to comply, the report said, adding that for employees who used private messaging services to vent about office drama or work frustration, the mandate is causing panic.
A JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment on the report.
A source close to the bank said the latest request to employees is merely an effort to make sure the bank is complying with and keeping up to date on “books and records” requirements from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bank will not read the messages but needs to capture the messages in case an issue arises in the future, according to the source.
Some JPMorgan employees admit that the bank has been clear with employees from the beginning of the pandemic that official business should be conducted on JPMorgan devices and not on personal phones, according to Bloomberg.
Over the past year, the line between business and personal matters has been blurred —and financiers are increasingly using personal devices to conduct company business in lieu of face time in the office.
But the explosion of text messaging is causing headaches for companies that must monitor employee communications to meet standards set by the SEC.
Last year, JPMorgan put one senior trader on leave and later fired him for violating company policy by using WhatsApp to communicate with colleagues.
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