Financial company Morgan Stanley fined some employees $1 million for using WhatsApp

Morgan Stanley has fined some bankers more than $1 million for doing business on WhatsApp and other messaging platforms. This came as part of an industry-wide investigation, with US regulators imposing record fines for tracking down such omissions. Writes about it Bloomberg.

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Funds have either been withdrawn from previous bonuses or will be withdrawn from future payouts, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information was not made public.

Morgan Stanley has required individual employees to shoulder some of the burden of an unprecedented regulatory investigation after it emerged that unapproved messaging platforms were widely used to conduct business. Financial firms are required to carefully monitor communications related to their business to prevent misconduct.

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Individual fines at Morgan Stanley range from a few thousand to more than $1 million based on a points system that takes into account factors such as seniority, the number of messages sent and whether they received previous warnings.

The bank is now training employees on scenarios for when they should transfer conversations from personal devices to official platforms such as work email.

Last year, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $200 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. A dozen banks, including Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS Group AG, paid similar fines totaling more than $2 billion.

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The investigation prompted some broader changes. Deutsche Bank AG's board has agreed to cut its bonuses by $81, and the German lender has unveiled a new app that allows messages to be received on the company's phones.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut the 2021 pay package for Mary Erdos, head of wealth and wealth management, "due to internal SEC and CFTC investigations into the firm's compliance with certain record retention requirements," the 2022 statement said.

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