Stock photo of man in suit texting

The Securities and Exchange Commission is requesting more than 100 personal cell phones from Wall Street executives and employees, according to a report. The phone turnover is part of an ongoing investigation. According to three anonymous sources, the people are not taking it well.

An unnamed senior bankers in New York told Insider that it was complete bullshit. Give me a break.

If you're investigating something big like insider trading, it's fine. If you are going through every single text with my boss, I have no idea what will pop up.

A third person told the outlet that people were livid and that the investigation was an invasion of privacy.

On the other hand, the anger is understandable. We would probably be upset, annoyed, and concerned if Gizmodo writers had to hand over their texts to the federal government. It feels like something that shouldn't be allowed. There is a lot of stuff worth investigating in the text and chat history of extremely wealthy and powerful bank execs. It is both a broad and worrying use of federal power.

Multiple banks are being investigated by the SEC. The bank admitted to being one of the banks under investigation in the annual meeting. Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, HSBC, and Credit Suisse Group AG have all disclosed that they are in the midst of inquiries from federal regulators.

The SEC didn't respond to Gizmodo's request for comment or to confirm the banks involved.

The aim of the investigation is to find out how often Wall Street-ers use unauthorized chat platforms to discuss business with each other and clients, that leads to the loss of communication records. The SEC has looked into the problem before.

The company wasn't keeping a close eye on business-related communications happening via text and other channels. The revelation led to official charges, $200 million in total regulatory fines, and the firing of multiple executives.

The SEC opened a general inquiry into how Wall Street was keeping track of employees in October of 2021, according to a report.

Since the 1930s, record keeping and books-and-records obligations have been an essential part of market integrity and the SEC's ability to be an effective cop on the beat. As technology changes, it's even more important that registrants ensure that their communications are recorded and not conducted outside of official channels in order to avoid market oversight.

When firms fail to comply with record keeping requirements, they directly undermine our ability to protect investors and preserve market integrity, according to the SEC.

Banks are trying to save their executives from embarrassment as the newest investigation proceeds. The banks are trying to maintain the illusion of privacy by bringing in external reviewers. The lawyers were told to look for business-related messages and to focus on the overall number of messages from each source.

It's bad news for Gizmodo because an article about the Top 10 Worst Wall Street Messages would do a lot on the site.