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Not a lot of people know that

Not a lot of people know that Commonly attributed to Sir Michael Caine, what a lot of people don't know is that it was actually said by someone else.

“Not a lot of people know that”

With MiFiD II just around the corner, inexplicably the phrase, ‘Not a lot of people know that’ came to mind.

Commonly attributed to Sir Michael Caine, what a lot of people don't know is that it was actually said by someone else. All because of inferior quality voice recording. Truly not a lot of people know that. I certainly didn't. Which brings us full circle back to MiFiD II. 

With the current requirement to record and store all communications for extended periods of time - given the high profile, but completely erroneous Michael Caine anecdote - it just goes to show how easy it is for an individual's voice to be incorrectly identified! The legacy telephone and recording equipment which is still in use by many organisations delivers poor quality output and was not designed to cope with the stringent demands of this increasingly regulated environment. And given the new MiFID II requirement to perform system checks daily, could the same 'Michael Caine' scenario keep on happening, putting both the individual and the firm inadvertently at risk?

Most businesses correctly believe that the MiFiD II requirement will be fulfilled by the recording of the conversation. However, without data structuring and correct attribution to transactions, how will particular voice recordings, or any communication records for that matter, be retrieved quickly and efficiently in the event of a dispute or regulators request?

In the case of Michael Caine, it was Peter Sellers impersonating Sir Michael for a voicemail greeting - hence the confusion. Sellers impersonated his old friend to inform callers that he (Sellers) was in fact away and that…. - “Not a lot of people know that." - an amusing tale which has gone down in folklore - really does highlight how easy it is to misinterpret or wrongly attribute a message or conversation.

This tale is many years old, and one would think that technological advances have surely made this a problem of the past! Not according to a BBC exploration earlier this year, where a retail banking voice identification system was completely fooled by a twin pretending to be his brother. This is a clear demonstration that recording technology is not accurate and that the potential consequences of misidentification, be they financial or reputational, do not bear thinking about.




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