Follow TopicFollow Contributor Share Feedback
Banks Tightening Employee Surveillance

Banks Tightening Employee Surveillance

by Starling Insights

Starling Insights Editorial Board

Apr 17, 2024


As reported by Banking Risk and Regulation, banks are intensifying surveillance measures on their staff, prompted by increasing regulatory fines and a heightened focus on culture and employee conduct.  

In response to productivity challenges post-Covid, banks like Citi are monitoring private bankers' client interactions. Instances like JPMorgan Chase's recent $348.2m fine for its alleged failure to monitor trading activity, as well as the UK Financial Conduct Authority's crackdown on non-financial misconduct, have further fueled this trend. 

Firms are intensifying all surveillance efforts, with some conducting 100% surveillance of audio communications and employing voice-to-text transcription to detect keywords and phrases. They also frequently track all computer activities, website visits, and even desktop views have become commonplace. This vigilance extends to chat apps, with banks considering how they can monitor regionally popular apps that may be necessary for conducting business.

Surveillance extends beyond professional conduct, potentially reaching into employees' private lives. "Everything now is tracked or monitored…[banks] can even remotely see your desktop," a banking consultant told Banking Risk and Regulation.

In our 2022 Compendium, Starling Advisors Karen Cook (Stanford), Tom Malone (MIT), and Amy Edmondson (Harvard) discussed the negative impact of surveillance and monitoring on employee morale, especially given the inherently opaque and secretive nature of these systems.

"With limited ability to assure themselves that surveillance methods and monitoring tools are competent, reliable, honest or benevolent," they wrote, "is it any wonder when employees trust neither the tools nor those making use of them?" ▸ Read More

Join The Discussion

See something that doesn't look quite right?

We strive to provide high quality and accurate content at all times. With that said, we realize that sometimes links break, new information becomes available, or there is something that you feel we may have missed.

If you see something that you think we should be aware of, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to drop us a note below and leave your name and contact info if you'd like to hear back from us.

Thank you for being a key part of the Starling Insights community!