16 Wall Street banking giants agree to $1.1 billion settlement over WhatsApp probe

Wall Street banking giants, including Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup, have reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), agreeing to pay them a total of $1.1 billion (about 7.865 billion yuan ) for failing to monitor employees to prevent them from using unauthorized instant messaging apps.

A total of 16 financial services companies have reached settlements with the SEC, in a statement, Tuesday said the SEC. In addition to the above two banks, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley are also among them.

Financial services firms are required to closely monitor employees' personal communication records to limit their misconduct. But that surveillance system, already challenged by the rapid proliferation of mobile messaging apps, including WhatsApp, has grown even more problematic as financial services firms let employees work from home soon after the global Covid-19 pandemic.

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