A $549,000,000 Fine for Unauthorised Use of WhatsApp, Signal, and iMessage Has Been Levied Against Wells Fargo and Ten Other Companies


The United States Federal Reserve Board and 10 other companies were fined $500 million for significant record-keeping errors.

According to the SEC, there were violations of securities laws because the companies and their employees did not properly retain electronic communications.

According to the watchdog, its examination into all of the companies found pervasive “off-channel” discussions about company business occurring between workers using iMessage, WhatsApp, and Signal.

According to the SEC, a “substantial majority” of these conversations were never recorded, which is a violation of federal securities laws.

In addition to the $75 million punishment levied against BNP Paribas, the CFTC also levied penalties of $75 million against Société Générale, $75 million against Wells Fargo, and $35 million against the Bank of Montrreal for identical offences.

SEC Enforcement Division Director Gurbir S. Grewal has said, Investor safety and efficient markets depend on companies keeping accurate books and records as required by federal securities laws. The Commission has filed 30 enforcement cases and levied fines totalling over $1.5 billion to hammer home this fundamental point. We are reminded by today’s events that many broker-dealers and investment advisors have not listened to this warning, self-reported infractions, or enhanced internal rules and processes.

For businesses that haven’t taken these steps yet, here are three lessons to remember: self-report, collaborate, and remediate. If you follow that strategy, you’ll have more success than if you wait for us to contact you.

The sanctions are the most recent in a string of penalties faced by long-established banks. Bill Hwang was an investor who lost about $20 billion in a couple of hours owing to excessive leverage and bad transactions. 

Also Read: Amicus brief filed by Senator Lummis in support of Coinbase’s dismissal request to the SEC

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