In the UK, as in Hong Kong, the taking of a client order by regulated firms needs to be recorded. If the order is taken over a telephone line, the telephone line should be recorded and tapes kept. There has however been an exemption from this rule for mobile phones.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced that with developments in technology, this exemption will be removed with effect from 14 November 2011, which means that orders taken after that date will have to be taken on a recorded line, whether fixed or mobile, with no exceptions.
The FSA will also require firms to take “reasonable steps” to prevent business communications from taking place on employees' private communication equipment such as mobile phones, which the firm is unable to record or copy for privacy reasons. Records will need to be kept for at least six months.
In Hong Kong, SFC licensees also need to record orders received from clients and keep the records for three months. The recording can be done by taping the telephone line or, where the order is taken over a mobile phone, the details need to be recorded in writing or by calling back to a taped office line.
Hong Kong's Code of Conduct does not encourage the use of mobile phones for receiving client orders. It may be a matter of time before the SFC simply bans the use of unrecorded mobile phones for order taking.