March 17, 2015

Thomson Reuters Sets New Compliance Standards for Instant Messaging in Financial Markets

New developments to Thomson Reuters Eikon Messenger help instil confidence in financial services

New York – Thomson Reuters has today launched new controls in its instant messaging service to improve the ease with which financial markets professionals can communicate with their counterparties whilst helping ensure the highest standards of compliance.

Users of Thomson Reuters Eikon Messenger, both on the standalone version and through the Eikon financial desktop, can now initiate bilateral chats in which access is systematically restricted to a maximum of two organisations.  Bilateral chats are critical to the day-to-day running of the financial industry, allowing banks and their clients to communicate in the most efficient way.

Recent regulatory investigations have highlighted the unauthorised use of multilateral chats, where members from more than two organisations are included in a conversation.  Whether a conversation is on a bilateral or multilateral basis has been difficult to detect, however, as the number of aliases used across different instant messaging systems masks the actual identity and organisational association of the participants.  This creates a significant challenge for financial firms in maintaining compliance.

Building on the compliance controls it already offers Eikon Messenger users, Thomson Reuters has worked with a group of leading financial institutions to address this issue.  Bilateral chat participants are now automatically screened against a Thomson Reuters database of organisations which records parent entities, their subsidiaries, joint ventures and affiliates.  This helps restrict conversations to individuals from no more than two organisations.  The structure of organisations in the database is constantly maintained by Thomson Reuters, thus eliminating the need for customers to invest in expensive and time-consuming counterparty validation exercises.

All Eikon Messenger users therefore now benefit from a messaging system that helps make chats immediately secure and compliant.  This reduces the burden on administrators whilst helping avoid any unauthorised multilateral chats taking place.

The new bilateral chat controls work in conjunction with Eikon Messenger’s suite of active compliance tools, including features for keyword blocking, disclaimers and policy enforcement.  Together, these features will help all users of Eikon Messenger communicate with confidence and do business more easily.

“In today’s unprecedented regulatory environment, it should come as no surprise that new compliance rules are being developed at every level of an organization,” said Paul Rowady, principal and director of data and analytics research, TABB Group.  “Instant messaging and other chat functionality – still indispensable for many trade-oriented workflows – is a prime example of where such compliance efforts represent significant cost and complexity.  Solution providers who are able to ensure that functions like chat are compliant with rules – like bilateral entity enforcement – and all at lower cost, are going to remain leaders for the road ahead in global markets.”

“Thomson Reuters connects and powers the global financial community with the principles of trust, openness and innovation,” said Yvette Jackson, global head of collaboration services at Thomson Reuters.  “Eikon Messenger is a key part of how we do that.  Our bilateral chat and other compliance services mean customers can be sure they know the counterparties they are dealing with, and make it easier for our clients to do business whilst maintaining the highest standards of compliance.”

Thomson Reuters Eikon Messenger is an open and secure instant messaging collaboration tool for the global financial community.  Available both inside Thomson Reuters Eikon and free of charge as a standalone application, it provides its users with access to a community of over 210,000 financial professionals. The compliance features in Eikon Messenger are available to all users, free of charge.

This short video demonstrates the bilateral chat set-up process in Eikon Messenger.

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Dan Bradley
Thomson Reuters
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