Crédit Suisse tightens controls on employee communications

Crédit Suisse has decided to step up the monitoring of its employees' communications. Employees are now obliged to allow the bank access to their business communications, even if they originate from their personal smartphones.

Professional communications monitored by financial institutions

The Covid-19 epidemic and the widespread use of teleworking have prompted banks to take a closer look at how information is disseminated. For example, according to the Financial Times, Crédit Suisse has asked its employees to allow access to their business communications, even when these are sent from their personal smartphones.

Traders and bankers employed by Credit Suisse do not have a smartphone reserved exclusively for professional use, but can benefit from a special offer, negotiated by their employer, to use their personal smartphone in the course of their work.

From now on, smartphones benefiting from this offer will be more closely monitored by Credit Suisse, which also requires its employees to keep their business messages considered important.

According to the Financial Times, these demands are not to the liking of all the Swiss bank's employees: some wonder how this surveillance will be implemented in practice, and denounce it as intrusive. Crédit Suisse has since provided answers to these two points.

Control the disclosure of information and combat the risk of fraud

Crédit Suisse is not the only financial institution to have decided to tighten control over the information disclosed by its employees.

A few months ago, the American bank JP Morgan required its employees - bankers, traders, financial advisors and others - to keep track of business communications sent from their smartphones or personal computers.

JP Morgan's legal department now has the right to ask to see employees' calls and messages, including when they pass through instant messaging services such as WeChat or WhatsApp.

These applications are increasingly used by traders and bankers, especially since the onset of the health crisis and the widespread introduction of teleworking. The porous nature of personal and professional spaces is of concern to financial institutions, who want to avoid the disclosure of sensitive information and the risk of fraud.

The major banks have even gone so far as to ban the use of WhatsApp instant messaging, considered insufficiently secure, for business communications. Some traders employed by US banks Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan paid the price, and were fired in 2020 for defying the ban.

However, the use of these applications is difficult to avoid, since many bank customers are the first to use them.