Traders under the #MeToo spotlight

Traders under the #MeToo spotlight

Banks are increasingly turning to monitoring software in order to eradicate inappropriate behaviour on the trading floor.

Surveillance systems provider Fonetic has reported a 20% increase in requests from banks to monitor the calls between their traders and other employees. 

Its data also reveals that alerts on abusive and derogatory language are eight times more frequent than any pertaining to market abuse. 

Market manipulation has been under increased focus for the last few years in light of the Libor fixing scandal and FX-rigging cases which have collectively cost the banking industry in excess of $10bn in fines.

However abusive behaviour in the workplace is now coming under banks' ethical mircoscope thanks to the global #MeToo movement as well as regulation such as the Senior Managers' Regime, which increases the personal accountability of senior executives for the abusive conduct of its employees.

And while open outcry may be largely a thing of the past, the data shows that examples of sexist and abuisve behaviour have simply transferred to phone lines and twitter feeds.

"Unacceptable trader chat has not gone away, and financial institutions are in no position to brush it under the carpet," says Fonetic COO Juan Diego Martin. "Any scandal or even alleged incident could have an instant negative effect on the reputation and therefore valuation of any bank.”

Furthermore, the technology behind monitoring software has become more sophisticated, says Martin. Not only is it easier to detect abusive behavior but banks can now rely on greater use natural language processing to put any flagged conversations into context.


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