Key Takeaways from 1LoD’s Voice Surveillance Deep Dive Report 2021

Publish Date



  • RegTech
  • eComms Surveillance
  • Trade Surveillance

Monitoring voice data has long been a challenge for surveillance teams, and the shift to hybrid and remote working operations caused by the pandemic has only accelerated this challenge. With more employees working out of their homes, how can financial services firms balance regulatory demands with legal concerns, like privacy and employment laws, while building a culture of trust among employees?

This was the topic of discussion at 1LoD’s 2021 Deep Dive forum on voice surveillance. Attendees represented financial institutions, technology firms, and regulators from around the world. Speakers featured regulators, technology experts, and voice surveillance professionals, including ACA Group’s Eddie Cogan, Partner and Head of eComms Surveillance (formerly Catelas).

Below are some key takeaways from the post-event report published by 1LoD. We recommend downloading the full report to get a sense for what your peers are doing, how your firm compares, what regulators expect, and how you can address the challenges of voice surveillance today.

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  • Remote risks are still unknown – Working from home (WFH) creates more opportunities for misconduct by bad actors, which weakens a firm’s overall control environment. When asked whether WFH raises the risk of misconduct on voice channels, 36% of panelists and attendees said that it had “materially” raised the risk of misconduct, 62% said it had “somewhat but not materially” raised the risk of misconduct, and only 24.5% said that their current voice surveillance technology captured all regulated activity for remote employees. Panelists also expressed skepticism that the key control weaknesses of remote/hybrid working environments can ever be fully mitigated, because in-home monitoring is regarded as too intrusive and generally unacceptable.
  • Surveillance and cultural trust are often at odds – Keynote speaker, former UK home secretary the Rt Hon the Lord Blunkett, raised concerns about the need to balance surveillance efforts with building a culture of trust. Without trust, Lord Blunkett believes wrongdoing becomes more likely.
  • Adoption of integrated surveillance is a work in progress – Despite acknowledging the benefits of integrated surveillance—increased efficiency, more precise alerts, and better investigations, among others—panelists and attendees alike acknowledged that we are still a ways away from integrated surveillance being the industry norm, rather than an outlier. Only 20% of attendees said the level of surveillance integration at their firms is “high,” while 56% said they have “some” integration and 24% said integration is “low” at their firm.
  • “Buy” is the clear winner in the Buy vs. Build debate – 69% of respondents said they have not considered building core voice recording, transcription, and analytics technology, while 17% said they had evaluated the possibility but then rejected it. Only 14% of attendees said they had built at least one of these components. The key reasons against building included resource burdens, maintenance costs, and tunnel vision from not having a system that is built based on the insights of many other firms.
  • Next-generation surveillance technology is the answer – Panelists unanimously voiced their support for the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and behavioral analysis as part of voice surveillance technology. The only way to achieve true surveillance integration, they said, is to transform surveillance technology using these sophisticated technologies, which can remove bottlenecks and enable real-time voice surveillance to support a truly risk-based surveillance program.

How we help 

ACA’s holistic surveillance solutions are designed to help your firm manage its firm-wide risk in a way that meets regulatory expectations and industry best practices. Our offerings combine consultingmanaged services, and technology to provide a holistic solution for developing and executing a comprehensive and truly risk-based surveillance program.

For questions or to discuss how ACA can help your firm strengthen its surveillance program, increase efficiencies through technology, and ensure your regulatory obligations are met, reach out to your ACA consultant or contact us here.

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