What Are Financial Firms Saying About 2023’s Regulatory Squeeze?

Jan 10th '24

Over the past year, Smarsh® has referenced the manymany headlines of record-breaking fines being levied against financial services firms for failure to meet recordkeeping requirements.


Firms are reading the same articles – and feeling adrift about how to shore up their communications compliance strategies.


Smarsh recently surveyed regulated firms to get a ‘lay of the land’ of the financial services sector regarding the retention and oversight of digital communications. In short, they’ve learned that it’s been a tough year for firms to find their compliance footing given the following:


  • In-office vs. remote culture clashes
  • Readily available generative AI technologies
  • Growing cybersecurity and data privacy concerns
  • Unprecedented volume of new, updated and expected regulatory updates


There are simply too many questions for firms, like:


  • “Should we allow the use of WhatsApp?”
  • “Is our compliance strategy still good enough?”
  • “What are we supposed to do when regulatory requirements evolve?”
  • “How can we make our compliance controls nimble and responsive enough for
    further regulatory changes?”


How are firms reacting to increased scrutiny?

Research methods consisted of a 15-question online survey of 229 respondents with communication compliance responsibilities, conducted Sept-Oct 2023. Here’s a glimpse into the results:


  • Collaboration apps are most popular with hybrid firms (82%); surprisingly, office-only and remote-first are at a near tie (68% and 66%, respectively)
  • Remote firms are more likely to use emerging social media apps — hybrid and office-first firms seem to take the “wait and see” approach
  • SMS text messaging continues to be a struggle
  • The concern of new regulations is growing from 46% in 2020 to 65% in 2023
  • Only 29% of respondents feel comfortable with their existing digital communications policies


compliance survey 2023 channels used
Image: Smarsh®
compliance survey 2023 top risks
Image: Smarsh®
compliance survey 2023 understanding regulations
Image: Smarsh®
compliance survey 2023 update compliance
Image: Smarsh®


Get the full report

As communication technology advances and regulations evolve, firms must keep up with and have a deep understanding of both. Regulators are zeroing in on how and what firms use to communicate, and we expect that these regulatory changes and updates are only the beginning. There’s a lot to unpack, so get the full survey results and analysis from leading industry experts.


FEATURED REPORT: An Unprecedented Year in Enforcements


Source: Smarsh


About Smarsh

Smarsh® is the recognized global leader in electronic communications archiving solutions for regulated organizations. Smarsh provides innovative capture, archiving, e-discovery, and supervision solutions across the industry’s widest breadth of communication channels.


Scalable for organizations of all sizes, the Smarsh platform provides customers with compliance built on confidence. It enables them to strategically future-proof as new communication channels are adopted, and to realize more insight and value from the data in their archive. Customers strengthen their compliance and e-discovery initiatives and benefit from the productive use of email, social media, mobile/text messaging, instant messaging and collaboration, web, and voice channels.


Smarsh serves a global client base that spans the top banks in North America and Europe, along with leading brokerage firms, insurers, and registered investment advisors. Smarsh also enables state and local government agencies to meet their public records and e-discovery requirements. For more information, visit www.smarsh.com.


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