Geared Up for MiFID II: Archiving Phone Calls, Email, and Chats

Pforzheim Calw Savings Bank ensures customer protection and legal compliance with EMA.

Pforzheim Calw Savings Bank is at the forefront of modern financial services in its region. With more than 110 branches and a total balance sheet of approximately €11.3 billion, it ranks among the largest savings banks in Germany. Nearly 2,000 employees provide personal and commercial banking services to customers throughout northwest Baden-Württemberg, covering the city of Pforzheim, Calw county, and Enz county.

Rooted in the City Savings Bank of Pforzheim established in 1834, this institution also advises its customers on investing in securities. Like other banks, Pforzheim Calw Savings Bank faced the challenge of implementing MiFID II regulations. This extensive EU legislation aims to enhance investor protection in the securities market. Since January 2018, this directive requires banking institutions, for example, to archive communications with customers about securities trading in accordance with regulation. This includes email as well as recording phone calls where customers receive advice on securities or place buy or sell orders, explains Christian Glos, Head of IT Systems at Pforzheim Calw Savings Bank.

We've always had the capability to record phone calls, but previously, it was used internally and without any specific requirements, mainly for coaching purposes in the call center. However, what we lacked was a way to archive these calls long-term in a manner that would meet legal standards, which goes far beyond simply recording them.

Custom Integration with the Unified Communications System

Pforzheim Calw Savings Bank collaborates with the Sparkassen IT service provider Finanz Informatik, yet it doesn't use a standardized phone and email system. This meant there was a need to find a tailored solution to comply with the MiFID II regulations – but this also presented an opportunity to select the most fitting system available. This was particularly relevant considering the bank had developed its own Unified Communications system to manage telephony, which it intended to keep using. To avoid jumping between applications and to make the archiving process as straightforward as possible for users, it was important that recordings could be started and stopped directly from this familiar interface. In partnership with the Karlsruhe IT partner Makro Factory, the bank's decision-makers surveyed the market and evaluated several systems for archiving calls and email, including a solution recommended by their phone system provider. However, after discussions with reference customers in the savings bank sector, the choice clearly fell on EMA by ARTEC IT Solutions in the summer of 2017.

What really impressed us about EMA was the ability to ditch multiple disjointed archiving solutions. No need for separate archives for phone calls, email, or files—EMA’s centralized system handles it all. The sheer convenience of managing as few archives as possible, without resorting to patchwork solutions, perfectly aligned with our administrative goals.

Seamless Start of Recording

Thanks to ARTEC's Software Development Kit (SDK), Pforzheim Calw Savings Bank was able to integrate the archiving function directly into its existing Unified Communications solution for telephony. Authorized employees now have access to a start/stop button, making it easy to begin, end, or pause a recording as necessary. On average, about 20 to 60 conversations are recorded each day.

Currently, approximately 400 users at Pforzheim Calw Savings Bank, who are qualified for securities advisory, are authorized to use the recording and archiving features. This authorization extends to email archiving as well. In the "on-demand process", it's up to the employee to properly classify relevant emails to initiate MiFID II-compliant storage through automated processes. A special case is the long-term archiving of files, for which the bank also uses the EMA system. This primarily involves recording communications in chat and messenger systems used by the bank. In practice, this is especially important for direct communication between the bank's securities experts and their trading partners through relevant trading systems.

Comprehensive Data Protection in Line with Compliance Regulations

To fully meet MiFID II criteria, the method of archiving plays a crucial role. EMA ensures the protection of all data from unauthorized access or post-entry manipulation through the use of electronic signatures and encryption. To comply with internal compliance regulations and the requirements of the works council, an extensive authorization management system is applied for data research. This system includes measures such as the four-eyes principle for certain access scenarios or deletion requests. Thanks to an intuitive full-text search function, users can quickly locate necessary content when needed.

For us, the primary goal was to successfully tackle the "MiFID II" challenge within a very ambitious timeframe. EMA made this achievement possible. The available Software Development Kit also enabled us to create a seamless, intuitive connection to our Unified Communications solution. Working on the project alongside Makro Factory and ARTEC IT Solutions was a highly positive experience. We were able to interact on equal footing in both consultation and support, which greatly simplified coordination. Thanks to this collaborative effort, including all testing phases, we were able to stick to the tight schedule and go live with the system exactly on time.

Data Management and Security with EMA
  • EMA E2000
  • Secure EMA Log
  • Modules in use: EMA Mail, EMA Voice, and EMA File

Key Takeaways at a Glance

  • Meets all compliance and security requirements in the insurance sector
  • Prioritizes data protection
  • Automatically stores data in a central archive despite a decentralized IT infrastructure
  • Simplifies user management
  • Implements VSTOR Vault as a storage solution for future scalability

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