Irish regulator tells investment firms to better monitor risks posed by working from home

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DUBLIN, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Ireland’s central bank said on Thursday that investment firms and credit institutions engaged in securities markets activity had failed to adequately monitor how staff communicate while working from home, raising the risk of market abuse.

The regulator warned in March of the risk of abuse-related conduct arising from the use of unmonitored, unauthorized or unencrypted telephone and electronic communication devices when employees are working remotely or as part of a hybrid model.

Ireland is a major center for the fund management industry, a regional hub for a number of international banks, and has a domestic financial sector, all of which are regulated by the central bank.

The bank said a recent assessment found that none of the firms included had made amendments to the recording of telephone and electronic policies or procedures despite moving from a largely in-office environment during and after COVID-19 lockdowns.

Monitoring and testing conducted by firms did not meet the central bank’s expectations while the small number of breaches of policies identified by firms indicated that their monitoring is not working effectively, the regulator added.

The assessment did identify that some firms exhibited good practices in ensuring that all telephone and electronic communications are recorded and retention periods are set in accordance with EU requirements.

The central bank said it expected that firms would continue to focus on improving their safeguards and that the assessment results should be brought to the attention of all board members, senior management, and relevant staff by year-end.

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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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