Deutsche Bank appears intent on closely monitoring its staff and how they communicate. The bank will install new monitoring software on some of its employee’s phones. Through the app, officials can screen calls, texts, and WhatsApp messages.
A Strange Move By Deutsche Bank
It isn’t uncommon for companies to exert some control over what their employees can do with work-issued phones and computers. Certain messaging apps and social media platforms can be blocked, although companies rarely try to monitor calls and texts. Deutsche Bank deems this a necessary step, although only for select employees.
The application, developed by US firm Movius, will make its way to work phones issued by the financial institution. The app gives Deutsche’s compliance teams access to how employees communicate with clients via call, text, or WhatsApp. It is unclear why this move is deemed necessary, although the bank will not back down from this approach.
All of this may be related to one of the whistleblower complaints involving Deutsche Bank. BaFin, the German regulatory, received a complaint from an alleged former executive at Deutsche’s asset management unit. The whistleblower hinted at WhatsApp being used to convince customers to commit investments and funds. It is not necessarily illegal to do so, although it remains a morally gray area.
JPMorgan Chase was fined $200 million in December 2021. The SEC and CFTC deemed it illicit behavior to let Wall Street employees use messaging applications to bypass US federal record-keeping laws. HSBC and Credit Suisse have let go of employees over inappropriate use of such messaging tools as well.