New York state's banking regulator reached an agreement with Société Générale to retain records from an online messaging service and issued guidance for other banks in its jurisdiction that plan to use the messaging service.
Société Générale is the fifth bank to agree to the New York State Department of Financial Services' demands that banks store records from the Symphony Communication Services messaging technology for potential access by regulators and other officials. Bank of New York Mellon, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs all reached an agreement last month.
At the same time it announced its agreement with Société Générale, the department sent guidance to all its regulated institutions concerning Symphony. New York-supervised financial institutions that plan to use the Symphony message platform must adopt the same protections as the five banks.
Those protections include retaining copies of all electronic communications through Symphony for seven years, and each bank keeping copies of its decryption keys with independent custodians.
Acting Superintendent Anthony Albanese noted that the agency's guidance will apply only to banks under its jurisdiction but urged other regulators to follow suit.
"Given that our department does not regulate all of the financial institutions that intend to use the Symphony messaging platform, we believe it is important that other regulators and law enforcement officials work to put in place similar protections," Albanese said in a news release Tuesday.
The Symphony product, which was developed by a group of banks as a competing service to Bloomberg LLP's data terminals, was introduced on Sept. 15.