Many compliance teams in the financial services industry are struggling with limited human resources to oversee the fast-changing electronic communications compliance landscape, says a new Smarsh report. 

The annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report found that nearly half of respondents (45 percent) say they are in constant catch-up mode, rather than proactive mode, when it comes to electronic communication compliance. Without adequate technology to automate the collection, preservation and review of an increasingly diverse volume of electronic communications, organizations are struggling to keep pace, says the study. 

Additional Key Findings:

  • SMS/Text is a leading compliance gap and perceived source of risk. The top perceived sources of risk for survey respondents were SMS/text messaging (77 percent) and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams (36 percent). Respondents also reported compliance gaps in which they lacked archiving and supervision solutions for many allowed popular communication channels, including Instagram (50 percent) and SMS/text messaging (40 percent).
  • Use of personal devices is now the standard. Three-quarters (75 percent) of those surveyed allow employees to use personal mobile devices at work. At the same time, 44 percent of respondents lacked confidence that their organizations were capturing and archiving all business communications via allowed mobile devices.
  • Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) now believe that electronic communications compliance is more than a cost/risk mitigation center, as it can also contribute to topline growth by maintaining valuable customer intelligence. This figure is up from survey results in prior years, when an average of 39 percent of respondents in 2017, and 32 percent in 2018, provided alternative use cases for archived data utilization.

"Beyond the improved identification of risks, firms are recognizing that the creation of a centralized data store of communications can also function as a revenue-building asset to the business, especially as providers adopt emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. These new stores of communications can produce valuable insights into the needs and preferences of prospects and clients, and can be harvested to improve social media campaigns, messaging, and to equip sales teams with additional insights into their targeted firms," says the study.