images-2At Connect we have been building out control frameworks for pushing content to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, building on the frameworks we already have for Mobile IOS / Android Apps, Web Apps and Email.

This is under my firm belief that for Financial Services, content being pushed to either private or public channels, needs control and audit trails for the organisation providing it and as a protection for the individual tasked with getting that information out. Also it ensures that the individual does not put different content on one channel than he does on other channels which is key for market fairness.

This protects the individual making the comments, and the firm whom the individual represents. All fairly obvious you would think.

What prompted me to write this was a conversation with an IM vendor on Friday, which on reflection, sums up the issues we have in the industry around Libor fixing, off market trades, FX manipulation, research front running, insider trading…..

His view, summarising his companies view, was that

“we will never open up the API on our messaging platform, because it needs to be a users personal login, putting that information onto the messaging channel, not an Application, so it has the users fingerprint on the messages for the regulators”

….. well how has that worked out ?

If the process of determining what can be said on a subject is left solely to an individual, with no controls, just a “login” to an overall platform, as their “fingerprints” then it is likely they will leave dirty fingerprints all over inappropriate messages, that get’s them banned from the markets or even jailed, and their firm heavily fined.

This lack of foresight from a mainstream vendor sums up the lack of controls in this area.

Libor communications should not have been on an open messaging platform, but on a controlled platform that just asks for the level set, and the factors used, so that there is not a conversation around what we “think” it should be today, just information on what it is.

All the time the market continues to use uncontrolled channels to send and receive fundamental information, there is more of an opportunity for abuse of the market.

In this day and age, where most of us have far more compute power in our phone, than I ran a major banking firm on 20 years back, why are we still loading orders from spreadsheets, doing trades on chat channels and generating market comment on different channels using cut and paste out of Word.

Using tools like those in Connect for sending to vendors, and doing Tweets, LinkedIn, IM Push, Email lists with templates, all with entitlements for who sees what, and who can do what, and audit trails of what happens, brings control to the process, and ensures consistent messages and transaction information across all communications channels.

As Social Media proliferates onto phones and off company controlled desktops, the ability to manage information distribution is critical.

Symphony are opening up their API soon, hopefully it has the kind of controls and features we will need to not just talk to Symphony, but put templated communications on to it, and hooks for us to control entitlements external to the platform. With this the market can IM effectively across a controlled framework, and not through the widely used and widely abused “fingerprint based” messaging channel I was talking to on Friday.

Still maybe the vendor in question will wake up and change their minds, and open up the API to their messaging capability, so we can bring some control to it, rather than the only alternative – to stop using it entirely for cross market communications.

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