Financial watchdogs in the US fined some of the biggest companies on Wall Street for discussing deals and trades on their personal devices.
According to the SEC, the investigation uncovered pervasive off-channel communications.
The 16 firms named by regulators are:
It is a landmark case for the SEC andCFTC.
Trust is the most important factor in finance. The market participants have failed to maintain that trust because they failed to honor their recordkeeping and books-and-records obligations.
Regulators said bank workers used apps on their personal devices to communicate with colleagues, clients and other advisers.
Federal rules require broker-dealers and other financial institutions to preserve business communications.
The ability of regulators to ensure compliance with key rules was hampered by that.
Some bankers have lost their jobs as a result of the investigation. Tough new measures have been introduced to stamp out misuse of apps.