The Call Recording System...
I consider the greatest perk of being in my role the access to the call recording system. Yes, it is a serious tool to be used for serious purposes but you can’t deny the great pleasure of finding truly hilarious call recordings.
There are a few that are in no way related to the business – those calls people make to partners about picking up milk on their way home for example. These are calls that do still have a right of privacy for the employee and I do not advocate abusing access to a call recording system. However, we’re also human (much to the shock of traders) so let’s talk about the funny ones. My personal favourite non work-related call recording involved a young sales lad who decided to break up with his latest flame by simply blocking her number. He’d forgotten the spurned lady knew where he worked...until the moment she called to tell him in vivid detail how appalling she found his behaviour.
On the work-related call recordings that have provoked mirth and hilarity two specifically spring to mind that also provide some learning points. One where an exasperated trader was desperately trying to explain to a client that their funds were no longer located in our bank account and were working their way through the correspondent banking journey to the client’s account. After exhausting several more sensible explanations the trader responded to, what I’m sure felt like the 100th time he’d been asked that day, the query “where are my funds?” with an emphatic “THEY ARE IN THE ETHER*”. Without missing a beat, the client came back deadpan with “what’s the phone number for the ether then?”.
Lesson here for our trader was – never assume the clients understand the following: sarcasm, idioms or apparently the concept of money transfers.
The second call relates to the acronym in my title. RFT – Reason For Transfer. I’m making my own assumption here you already got WTF... So, on an occasion where our trader was confirming the economic reason behind a client converting GBP to USD to send to their American account came across a response that caught them off guard with both the absurdity and frankness – “cocaine and hookers”. Now, before anyone asks the client was not Jordan Belfort of Wolf of Wall Street infamy. The client in question, who until this conversation had been boring and pedestrian as 99% of other customers, decided on this day that the question was intrusive to his personal life and in his mind had given a ridiculous answer to satisfy the question and protect his privacy. In his mind. Of course, the trader didn’t take the risk that it could be true and didn’t proceed with the transfer. Bonus: the call recording has made an excellent training resource over the years for new staff on how to handle such instances.
Sometimes compliance can be a fairly mundane repetitive task of looking at static data, as much as I wouldn’t do anything else for a job, you have to admit sometimes it gets very monotonous. On the other hand due to the sheer amount of information we have access to across client records and call recordings there are those few rare client interactions you can enjoy. Those cases where you have no concerns about a risk to the business and become part of your dinner party chat. Because lets be honest its more exciting to those non-compliance folk in our lives than reciting the FCA handbook...
For anyone interested in some further reading on the subject of Best Practice or Regulations for call recording, please find the following links below:
Retention Period from FCA Handbook - Table
CMCOB 2.3 Recording and retention of telephone calls and electronic communications - Rules