Goldman to pay $5.5 million to settle US CFTC accusations it failed to keep cell phone records

(Reuters) -Goldman Sachs will pay a $5.5 million civil penalty to settle allegations it failed to keep records of staff cell phone calls, and for breaching a prior order, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Tuesday.

The CFTC’s order finds Goldman violated a cease-and-desist provision of a prior order and committed record-keeping violations in connection with failing to properly record and retain certain audio files, the regulator said in a statement.

A Goldman spokesperson said in an email statement sent to Reuters: “We are pleased to have this matter resolved.”

In November 2019, the CFTC found that Goldman failed to record the phone lines of a trading and sales desk for 20 calendar days in January and February 2014, after its recording hardware malfunctioned following a software patch.

The CFTC ordered Goldman to pay a $1 million civil monetary penalty and to cease and desist from further violations of CFTC record keeping provisions.

The order entered on Tuesday finds that Goldman had additional record-keeping failures in violation of the cease-and-desist provision of the earlier order. Due to problems with a third-party vendor’s hardware, the bank failed to fully record and retain thousands of mobile device calls by employees.

Earlier this month, U.S. regulators fined nine Wall Street companies over employees’ use of personal messaging apps to discuss deals, trades and other business.

The penalties marked the latest wave of a sweeping two-year enforcement inquiry targeting Wall Street’s use of so-called “off channel” work communications such as text and WhatsApp messages in breach of rules which require firms to retain certain work-related communications.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa and Saeed Azhar in New York; editing by Susan Heavey, Michelle Price and Mark Heinrich)