A joint venture by Google and markets infrastructure and technology platform Symphony aims to help banks better retain and flag suspicious discussions as regulators continue to step up scrutiny of record-keeping practices at financial firms.
The new messaging compliance tool combines Google Cloud's generative artificial intelligence platform, Vertex AI, with Symphony’s AI and domain expertise to offer financial markets voice analytics, the companies announced in a press release Tuesday.
The companies said Google Cloud's Vertex AI will enhance Symphony’s Cloud9 voice product with more sophisticated speech-to-text and natural language processing capabilities.
Finance and trading teams use Symphony’s Cloud9 to communicate across commodities, interest rate swaps and equity derivatives, according to the release.
Adding generative AI to Cloud9 will provide banks with real-time voice analytics capabilities that can be used to improve customer service, accelerate trade reconstruction and minimize post-trade processing issues while maintaining compliance and security standards, the companies said.
“Generative AI has the potential to transform the trading landscape from automating routine tasks to identifying potential misconduct through anomalies in data,” Zac Maufe, global head of regulated industries at Google Cloud, said in a statement. “Our expanded partnership with Symphony builds on the success of our long-standing collaboration, and with the integration of speech-to-text gen AI, Symphony can provide financial institutions with high accuracy voice analytics that can help improve risk management and drive efficiencies across the trading floor.”
Symphony, which claims to serve more than 1,000 institutions, uses Google as its primary cloud provider.
The partnership comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have doled out penalties related to record-keeping violations to more than two dozen financial firms since 2021.
Regulatory probes found that during COVID-19 lockdowns, employees at some of the largest financial institutions used WhatsApp and other unapproved messaging platforms to conduct official business.
Wells Fargo in August agreed to pay regulators $200 million total — $125 million to the SEC and $75 million to the CFTC, over allegations it violated records retention requirements.
JPMorgan Chase took a $200 million penalty for similar violations in 2021. Seven other banks — Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS — agreed to $200 million penalties in September 2022, and Bank of America took slightly more, at $225 million.