Hi. I am Aaron Weinman. Some of the world’s largest banks, from Goldman Sachs to Morgan Stanley, will impose nearly $2 billion in penalties on US regulators for failing to adequately monitor their employees’ use of unauthorized messaging apps.

The financial institutions have acknowledged that their conduct violated record-keeping provisions set forth in federal securities laws, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a press release Tuesday. The SEC hit 11 companies with $1.1 billion in penalties.

At the heart of the matter here is the use by bankers of communication platforms such as Whatsapp or Signal. These are encrypted messaging apps that bankers regularly use to communicate with customers and even journalists.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission also ordered 11 companies to pay more than $710 million in penalties.

Let’s go.

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WhatsApp ; Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

1. The SEC and CFTC have amassed billions of dollars of misery on Wall Street. The US’s biggest European banks, boutiques and lenders have been caught up in an investigation into the use of unauthorized messaging apps.

Banks are required to monitor employee communications to mitigate inappropriate behavior. Bankers are increasingly turning to unauthorized apps to communicate with their customers.

Whatsapp, for example, is a popular messaging app for bankers dealing with clients based outside the United States. The crackdown has forced many bankers to hand over their phones to their employers for inspection in recent months.

The sanctions come after regulators found that banks failed to prevent employees from communicating internally and externally through unauthorized apps.

The SEC said, however, that banks have begun to improve their compliance policies and procedures regarding the use of unauthorized applications.

Bank of America, for example, has rolled out a new communications policy for merchants and bankers, Insider’s Alex Morrell reported.

Employees said the rules are excessive and hamper personal friendships in the industry.

Check the full story here.

In other news:

Tyrone Blackburn launched his law practice shortly after leaving Morgan Stanley.

TA Blackburn Law LLC

2. A former Morgan Stanley employee represented staff who have allegations of bias against the bank. Tyrone Blackburn worked in Morgan Stanley’s legal department before launching his own practice in 2019. His latest client also accused the bank’s global head of macro strategy of making “racist dialogues”.

3. AllianceBernstein Managing Director Seth Bernstein looks at private assets and exchange-traded funds. The asset manager‘s recent purchase in private markets now forms the bulk of AB’s alternative platform, Bernstein told Insider.

4. Cathie Wood’s ARK launched a venture capital fund open to individual investors, The Wall Street Journal reported. The fund is intended to invest in private and public companies, similar to those held by ARK’s high-growth, technology-focused ETFs.

5. Thoma Bravo will suspend future investments in other cryptocurrency companies, company founder Orlando Bravo said in a interview with the Financial Times. Billionaire Bravo also said he was disappointed to find that ethical standards in some parts of the crypto space are not as high as in private equity.

6. A Citadel Securities employee left the market maker for a startup, but now faces a lawsuit. Vincent Prieur faces non-compete lawsuit after joining crypto-trading platform Portofino Technologies.

7. Salary data revealed how many Hollywood giants have recently offered jobs in various divisions. Here are the latest from Disney and Hulu.

8. Ally vs. Marcus vs. Wealthfront. Here’s how three of the most popular high-yield savings accounts compare. Wealthfront, on the other hand, offers a high-yield account with a minimum deposit of just $1.

9. Startup an Emergency Savings Account SecureSave has partnered with the San Antonio Spurs and Truist to complete a round of seed funding. Here’s the 20-slide pitch deck the company used to win the capital.

10. Citadel CEO Ken Griffin’s crush on Miami property is a watershed moment for Florida real estate. The Miami area saw its first $100 million residential real estate sale in September. Homes are still scarce and this keeps pressure on prices for luxury and non-luxury homes.

People move:

  • RBC has named Jason Gurandiano as head of technology banking in the United States. He joined the bank in 2015 and was most recently global head of fintech and is a representative on RBC’s Crypto Committee, according to a memo seen by Insider. Previously, Gurandiano was head of fintech at Deutsche Bank.
  • Bank of Montreal has hired Bo Brown as managing director of its capital markets business, Bloomberg reported. Brown previously worked for Citi, where he managed sell-side M&A transactions for financial sponsors.
  • Jens Welter is leaving Credit Suisse less than a year after being named co-head of the world bank. After 27 years with the bank, Welter joins Citi as the new co-head of European investment banking. He will also chair Citi’s consumer and retail advisory businesses.

Organized by Aaron Weinman in New York. Tips? E-mail [email protected] or tweet @aaronw11. Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.