XLod Global – the only event to combine all 3 lines of defence recently drew to a close following 3 jam packed days of events covering a range of topical discussions from November 16th to 18th. The virtual event, which saw the worlds non-financial risk and control leaders network, learn, and collaborate, shed great insight into the obstacles which the industry faced over the last 20 months as the world battle the pandemic.
VoxSmart were delighted to feature over the three days with CEO, Oliver Blower’s and Head of North America, Larry List’s participation in roundtables and debates. A number of key take homes from the event centralised on the issue of conduct, culture, cost and as previously mentioned – Covid.
Reflecting on the initial stages of the pandemic many industry professionals commented on the transition from office to remote. Although, perhaps not seamless, under the circumstances the industry was applauded for its quick response in designing protocol regarding surveillance risk and the application of measures to ensure compliance.
Yet, one such obstacle which still remains for regulated industries lies in the capture of video communications. With the likes of Zoom, Teams and WhatsApp video calls now a daily practice for many there still lies the issue of surveilling this form of communication. Audio recording of video call provides some degree of surveillance however failed to provide a holistic view of the communication, lacking the ability to capture body language, gestures, and surroundings. Storage of this form of data also raised concern from many industry experts and the feasibility of watching this trade communication was too called into question. As is, it still remains that use of video communication platforms remains prohibited amongst many firms within regulated markets providing additional obstacles for traders.
Conduct and Culture
With the WFH reality that still features as part of many firms, conduct and culture were a main talking point throughout several panel debates across the three days. It was evident that not only are market leaders interested in utilising surveillance technology in trade communications to reduce risk but also in assessing the conduct of employees and the culture in which they were creating. Many firms seek to create a culture of compliance through surveillance, however some argued there lies a balance between surveillance as a deterrent and as a tool to incite fear in employees which would entice some to unregulated channels. Finding the balance between the need to surveil and trusting employees to do correctly was of precedence.
However, in expanding the scope of surveillance technology across companies there comes additional cost which was a key issue of debate. There were mixed views on expanding the capabilities of surveillance technology to cover issue outside of market abuse based on the cost, space and analysis needed. Many argued for the focus to be on traditional risks with care and thought needed in its use to avoid unnecessary bills.
Budgetary issues were also topical regarding meeting regulatory requirements. Keeping things simple were seen to achieve the “biggest bang for buck” yet there still remained error rates which prove expensive for firms to tackle. Risk tolerance levels were suggested by many by means of managing the cost of surveillance yet difficult to apply in reality.
Three very successful days of insights and learning of which VoxSmart are proud to have been a part of, hearing the obstacles and challenges which remain within the industry and understanding how our solutions play a role in alleviating the pressures faced. Congratulations to the team at XLoD!
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