It’s not a big survey; then you realize that all 191 respondents are in financial services with direct compliance supervision responsibilities. The survey in question is Smarsh’s eighth annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report.
Its big takeaway is that email continues to be the single largest piece of the overall electronic communications landscape in financial services, but social and mobile platforms are rapidly growing in importance and many firms are probably not doing enough to keep themselves fully compliant if they go under the regulatory microscope.
And 50 percent of all respondents reported concern around those communications channels that together include social media, instant message/collaboration platforms, and SMS/text messaging.
Similarly, a major concern for 42 percent of respondents (within the top five selected) was the growing complexity of managing employee use of mobile devices for business communications.
“This year’s survey reveals that firms are focusing too much energy on older technologies and not enough time on the mobile and social communication channels that are growing in popularity among their customers and their advisors,” said Marianna Shafir, Smarsh’s corporate counsel and a regulatory advisor.
“Many don’t have archiving solutions in place for the retention and oversight of modern communications channels, such as text messages, which causes problems and significant risk when facing a regulatory examination, open records request, an investigation, e-discovery event or litigation,” she added.
Following email, SMS/text messaging was the next greatest perceived source of risk: 59 percent of respondents reported SMS/texts messaging as the biggest perceived risk, ahead of social media and instant messaging/collaboration platforms.
When it comes to respondents whose firms actually allow SMS/text messaging for business, 48 percent responded that their organization doesn’t have an archiving supervision system.
Those completing the survey represented a wide range of firm sizes and job titles and completed a 40-question survey. To download the full report visit Smarsh (registration required).
West Coast-based private equity firm K1 Investment Management, which owns Smarsh, acquired communications compliance, archiving and analytics provider Actiance in November 2017 to expand its services and customer base.