Bankers to see mobile calls taped

Image caption,
Personal phones fall outside the scope of the rule changes

Investment bankers and traders in the UK are to have calls made on company mobile phones taped in a bid to crack down on insider trading.

City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority ruled calls would be stored for six months, but personal mobile phones are not included in the move.

Office land lines, e-mails and communications through messaging systems are already recorded.

Financial firms had objected to the cost of the plans.

The FSA estimates extending the taping rule - to come into force in November 2011 - will cover about 16,000 mobile phones and cost about £11m to set up. Annual running costs will be a further £18m it predicts.

'Reasonable steps'

"Removing the exemption will provide an extra source of voice and electronic communication evidence, which can be used to help us counter the key priority of market abuse and increase the probability of successful enforcement," the FSA said.

"The new rules will also contribute to our wider effort to promote cleaner markets which should, in turn, enhance market confidence."

And banks have been told they must take "reasonable steps" to ensure traders do not use their private phones to carry out transactions.

The European Union is also considering bringing in similar rules for financial firm employees in the bloc.

Insider trading is when information not in the public domain is shared, and then used to make investment decisions - for example trading shares.

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