VPI was recently featured in Contact Center Association's Inbound Magazine in their special issue on 'What to Expect in the Contact Center in 2013.' One thing is for certain, and that is trading floors and contact centers will be faced with implementing a series of process and technology changes in the coming year.
Authored by VPI's Vice President of Workforce Optimization Patrick Botz, the article 'Financial Contact Centers Face the Reality of Complying with Dodd-Frank' discusses the impact of Dodd-Frank call recording requirements, deadline dates and affordable call recording, analytics and electronic Coaching solutions that are helping trading floors and contact centers of all sizes and in multiple industries that are involved in swap activities – including financial services, manufacturing, oil and insurance – prepare for and ensure compliance with Dodd-Frank call recording requirements.
Financial Contact Centers Face the Realities of Complying with Dodd-Frank
Back in 2010, President Obama signed landmark legislation designed to protect the rights of the customer and usher in a new age of accountability for the financial services industry. Not surprisingly, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act threw Wall Street and the financial industry through a loop. The new regulations, which emphasize greater transparency and strict adherence to organizational processes, are forcing financial organizations to make significant operational changes and implement a variety of enabling technologies.
Republican hopeful, Mitt Romney, promised to “repeal and replace” Dodd-Frank upon his election. Now, with the recent re-election of President Obama, any hopes the industry may have harbored for the departure of Dodd-Frank have now been dashed. In an article in the November 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal, “Battle Plan Shifts on Dodd-Frank”, these dashed hopes are anticipated to drive a new wave of lawsuits against the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as business groups battle to reduce the financial ramifications and overall impact of the legislation. However, although some small wins can be expected, for the most part, the regulations will likely remain in place.
New Dodd-Frank Call Recording Requirements
Unfortunately, contact centers of all sizes and in multiple industries that are involved in swap activities – including financial services, manufacturing, oil and insurance – are struggling to maintain compliance with Dodd-Frank. Among the legislation’s many demands, new call recording and record-keeping requirements have been received with extreme anxiety and reluctance. In addition to being required to react quickly and appropriately to changing processes, financial institutions must also respond immediately to audits or complaints and provide guaranteed, foolproof evidence retention. The deadline for financial services companies to comply with Dodd-Frank call recording record-keeping requirements has been extended from November, 2012 to March, 2013 (source
: Practical Law Company). Organizations that fail to comply may face stiff penalties and fines.
In short, the legislation outlines the requirement to record all oral communications relating to pre-execution swap trade information, including communications that ultimately lead to a related cash or forward transaction. Additionally, financial organizations are required to maintain all such records in a manner that is searchable by transaction and counterparty. These call recordings must be maintained in searchable format for a period of one year. Organizations are also required to timestamp pre-execution and execution trade information using Coordinated Universal Time and to maintain swap records at their principal place of business or other designated principal office.
Despite the seemingly daunting nature of these very tough regulations, new technologies and solutions are proving to be incredibly effective in maintaining compliance and meeting the challenges of the Dodd-Frank Act. Fortunately, leading companies like VPI, have developed analytics-driven call recording solutions specifically to meet the needs of organizations faced with complex, evolving compliance and liability issues. Advanced call recording solutions are able to record all channels of communication used in today’s ever-growing mobile business environment – including hard-wired, soft and mobile phones, trading turrets, hoot ‘n holler systems, email and chat – to ensure the capture of every interaction between the contact center or trading floor and customer. These solutions provide also flexibility for storage and retention and also meet PCI-DSS compliance regulations by masking and muting segments of interactions containing sensitive data.
Using Analytics to Detect Non-Compliant Activities
Analytics can quickly identify and address Dodd- Frank compliance issues. Analytics-enhanced call recording solutions have the ability to automatically tag pertinent searchable data from trader applications and conversations – such as Customer ID, Customer/ Portfolio Type, Order Amount, Order Type, Stock Symbol, Share Price, disclosure and consent information, and more – to recordings for easy access to important recorded interactions and are being used to meet Dodd-Frank requirements for speedy search and detailed record-keeping. These solutions offer a proactive alerting function, which detects and proactively notifies management of non-compliant events within interactions. Detailed Audit Trail reporting is achieved with interactive drill-through reports and heat maps, which can easily identify who accessed any recording in the system and when it was accessed for playback, export or any other critical event.
Closing Knowledge Gaps with E-Learning and Coaching
While these remarkable technologies can resolve many of the problems faced by financial services organizations in the wake of Dodd-Frank, the human factor remains a huge issue. When striving to maintain compliance, employees are under a great deal of pressure to perform at maximum capacity within the tight constraints of various regulatory requirements. They’re trying to cope while learning to use new applications and being bombarded with constant updates on new processes and procedures. E-Learning and Coaching tools have proven to be a huge advantage in the quest for speedy implementation of new policies and the correction of non-compliant behaviors. If non-compliance is being caused by gaps in employee knowledge or skills, personalized Coaching will automatically be assigned to the trader and notifications and alerts can be sent to their managers on the particular topic causing the issue.
As many compliance and operations officers prepare to meet the stringent demands of Dodd-Frank legislation, they can rest easier knowing that the latest call recording and workforce optimization software innovations have been designed to help them more easily overcome these challenges. Affordable and incredibly easy to implement and adopt, these state-of-the-art solutions can be implemented quickly and easily, providing some much needed peace of mind in a time of deep industry unrest and trepidation.