Morgan Stanley has doled out million of dollars in fines to its own bankers for conducting business over WhatsApp, in breach of a regulatory crackdown on the use of the popular messaging app.
Individual penalties at Morgan Stanley range from a few thousand dollars to more than $1 million, based on a points system that considers factors including seniority, number of messages sent and whether they were issued prior warnings, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the news.
The funds have either been clawed back from previous bonuses or will be docked from future pay, according to a person familiar with the matter,
Last year, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $200 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and UBS were also caught up in the probe, which saw traders and brokers' use of personal messaging services balloon during the pandemic. Total penalties levied across the industry amounted to over $2 billion.
Morgan Stanley now gives employees training on scenarios when they should shift conversations from personal devices to official platforms such as their work email, the FT reported.