Your call is being recorded..

One of the many things that regulation is meant to provide is a high degree of security for investors and clients. In the main, the regulator exists to keep markets fair and ensure that people are not ripped off. You may have a view about their success over the years… then again perhaps things would have been worse without them – one of those conundrums.

From time to time (for which read – with great frequency) the regulator issues Consultation Papers, in theory to outline an issue, propose some remedial solutions for comment. Today’s 500+ page (CP16/29) latest idea is for all advisers to record telephone calls with clients. This, they believe, will help reduce problems as many people cite that they were told something over the phone, upon which they acted.

1973 movie poster The Conversation starring Gene Hackman

Are you being served?

To provide some context, to buy any regulated financial product, you have to have a “Reason Why Letter” – which can take a variety of forms, but in essence is an explanation of why you have been advised to implement a product. If you have been a client of ours for anything more than five minutes you will have had this from us.

So I wonder what your thoughts are if we are to record your phone calls with us. We have nothing to hide and are in the process of installing VOIP telecoms anyway, which would enable us to  do this (though our motivation was for a better and more cost effective telecom system and the fact that BT are gradually moving everyone in this direction). However, does it actually provide you with any more protection?

As you may also know, we have been using software that enables us to hold meetings over the internet – such as gotomeeting or Skype (and others). Of course we may have called you from a mobile phone at some point too, so presumably these ought to be recorded too (if the logic applies). Then perhaps meetings (in person) should be recorded or indeed any interaction between us.

Anything you say may be used in evidence against you…

You may have a view on such an approach – all the data would be stored for at least 5 years (which is of course cyberspace that needs to be rented) – so there is a cost financially, but I also wonder how it might impact our relationship. For example, when I am on hold to a big company and they are recording the call, I’m minded to make statements like – why don’t you hire more people to answer the phones if you are so busy? Why have you outsourced the call handling around the world, where my personal data is now viewed?… or how on earth do you guys sleep at night with such a rubbish service? (but I have, to date, not said this aloud).

Its my belief that a crook, or someone that wants to take your money away from you by selling you something that simply isn’t real or realistic will find a way to do so… and not recording the call or then editing the data file would be obvious to anyone. Anyway I thought that as I’m being asked for my views, the best ones are probably yours, so email me your thoughts. I need to feedback thoughts by the end of the year… not long now!

How is your paranoia? here’s the trailer to a film on the subject… Paranoia

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email