UBS Investment Bank to prohibit multi-dealer social chat rooms

UBS Investment Bank, the investment banking business of one of the world's largest financial firm UBS AG, is prohibiting the use of multibank and social chat rooms as global regulators probe the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange rates, as per a Bloomberg report.

“All social related chat rooms are prohibited and must be closed immediately. Multibank and dealer chat rooms are also banned, and any request for an exception, which can be made ‘for business critical use only,’ will have to be approved by the executive committee member and compliance officer responsible for the specific business," the investment bank’s executive committee wrote in an internal memo to staff on Thursday.

A managing director will be assigned to the UBS users who are communicating with a single client. The director would be permanently on the chat as a moderator and will also be responsible for content and behaviour in the room, the memo said. All internal one-to-one and multiparty chats should be conducted through UBS internal communication tools only, the bank said.

The Swiss banking regulator is also investigating several Swiss financial institutions and is setting up a project team to coordinate and assure the implementation of the new policies on chat rooms, the memo said.

“Recent events within our industry serve as a serious reminder to be mindful at all times to use appropriate language and behavioural standards in all of our communication, no matter the channel,” the UBS memo said. “In order to mitigate the specific risks associated with the use of chat rooms, the investment bank executive committee has decided to implement a number of measures. All staff are expected to comply with these requirements with immediate effect.”

Recently, several other banks, including Barclays, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland, have banned the use of most group chat rooms.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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