For Recruiters
HSBC's fired trader could be the tip of the iceberg.

Traders' fears over WhatsApp messages to brokers

If you're a trader in London, you may well have spent the past week clearing out all your old WhatsApp messages and asking everyone you messaged there to do much the same. Last week's two major messaging-related exits - of an unnamed trader at HSBC and of the head of ECM syndicate at Credit Suisse - have put the wind up the market, but it's the HSBC trader who's really got people running scared. 

As we reported exclusively last week, the trader fired from HSBC is understood to have left the London office before bonuses were paid. The discovery of his WhatsApp messages has therefore left him without a bonus for 2021 and struggling to find a new job given the circumstances of his exit. HSBC, which is understood to have launched an internal investigation into the affair, is declining to comment.

While the trader himself remains anonymous, it's understood that some messages precipitating his exit related to conversations with London-based brokers concerning trades relating to the Asian market. Sources suggest that it's been relatively common across the market to discuss such Asian trades via WhatsApp, partly because they often take place very early in the mornings, when both London traders and brokers may be traveling to the office. However, it's understood that the practice may not have been that widespread at HSBC.

It's not just London traders who are communicating via messaging systems, and their messaging system of choice isn't just WhatsApp. Traders at other European banks in Asia tell us that a lot of information regarding high yield bonds in particular is frequently communicated on WeChat in the Hong Kong and China markets, and that this could become a problem if banks start digging into traders' historic communications. Another trader tells us that WeChat's voice-to-text service is particularly well-used by Mandarin-speaking traders trying to log trades quickly.

In London, deleting WhatsApp messages may make sense. As we noted last week, VTB banker Konstantin Vishnyak was acquitted of destroying evidence by a court in London in 2019 after simply deleting WhatsApp altogether. However, Deutsche Bank has warned its staff that deleting Whatsapp messages could be a crime in the US.  

Even after the firing of the HSBC trader, it's understood that some traders are still using WhatsApp to communicate with brokers, but have switched to messages that are automatically deleted. 

Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Make yourself visible to recruiters hiring for top jobs in technology and finance. 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

author-card-avatar
AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
Cancel
  • Ca
    Candace Craig
    24 June 2022

    Track Calls log and Spy Call Recording.
    Monitoring SMS text messages remotely.
    Cell phone GPS location tracking. Spy on Whatsapp Messages.
    Free Update and 100% Undetectable.
    Internet Browsing History and Read phone Access Address Book, totally
    worth your money, please no time wasters,They won't under any
    circumstances work for free, you can reach them by their email: Leonardomitnickhacking@gmail.com and get your job done instantly

Apply for jobs

Find thousands of jobs in financial services and technology by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Latest Jobs
Kerry Consulting Pte Ltd
Credit Risk Manager, Energy trading multinational
Kerry Consulting Pte Ltd
Singapore
Ethos BeathChapman
Head of Treasury & Balance Sheet
Ethos BeathChapman
Singapore
The Argyle Network
Principal Data Engineer - Data & Analytics
The Argyle Network
Sydney, Australia
The Argyle Network
Data Engineers - Big Data
The Argyle Network
Sydney, Australia