Tech Failures In The Financial Industry Demand Fresh, Current Approaches To Keep Pace As Survey Points To Greater Risk For Investors

Jan 27, 2014, 08:50 ET from Finect

Openshaw: New Tech World Order means firms must show mastery to earn, retain public confidence; Offers advice for firms, investors

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of tech failures in the financial industry involving electronic record-keeping, financial firms need a fresh mindset, says the president of Finect, the safe and compliant social media platform for financial professionals.

At risk are investor safety, the ability of regulators to oversee financial firms, and the reputation of the firms themselves, says Finect president Jennifer Openshaw.

In fact, 53 percent of financial professionals surveyed say technology is changing as fast as the markets or faster. Moreover, 42 percent believe investors are at greater risk given the pace of tech advancements.

"It's a New Tech World Order, and the businesses that thrive in the future will understand how to use technology that's changing almost as quickly as markets themselves," says Openshaw, nationally known columnist and financial expert.

Public awareness of tech failures is growing in the wake of the trouble surrounding the October launch of the Internet platform for the federal Affordable Care Act and the recent theft of credit card data at Target. Recent stumbles in the financial sector suggest that tech management poses problems within the private sector as well.

Recently, FINRA fined Barclays Capital $3.75 million for "widespread" failures to keep electronic records in formats that prevent alteration. Barclays also fell short in retaining instant messages and attachments to certain emails, FINRA added.

"It's a new kind of problem as tech capabilities expand exponentially," Openshaw says. "Systems are designed to move faster and manage larger amounts of data than in the past, from institutional trades to the smallest text messages. And everything must be preserved for compliance as well."

Developed with leaders from Fidelity and Merrill Lynch, Finect enables financial professionals to use social media safely and compliantly to engage with investors.

"We see greater demand for such services as financial advisors use social media to communicate with clients and prospects in a manner that the public increasingly expects," Openshaw says. "Firms that demonstrate mastery over their own tech systems can stem the erosion of investor confidence in the financial industry that began in 2008."

NOTE: For full release, including survey results and advice for consumers, go here.