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Thomson Reuters adds bilateral chats to Eikon Messenger

First Published 17th March 2015

Thomson Reuters sets new compliance standards for instant messaging in financial markets.

New York - Thomson Reuters has launched new controls in its instant messaging service to improve communication and compliance. Users of Thomson Reuters Eikon Messenger, both on the standalone version and through the Eikon financial desktop, can now initiate bilateral chats in which access is systematically restricted to a maximum of two organisations. Bilateral chats are critical to the day-to-day running of the financial industry, allowing banks and their clients to communicate efficiently.

Recent regulatory investigations have highlighted the unauthorised use of multilateral chats, where members from more than two organisations are included in a conversation. Whether a conversation is on a bilateral or multilateral basis has been difficult to detect, however, as the number of aliases used across different instant messaging systems masks the actual identity and organisational association of the participants. This creates a significant challenge for financial firms in maintaining compliance.

Building on the compliance controls it already offers Eikon Messenger users, Thomson Reuters has worked with a group of financial institutions to address this issue. Bilateral chat participants are now automatically screened against a Thomson Reuters database of organisations which records parent entities, their subsidiaries, joint ventures and affiliates. This helps restrict conversations to individuals from no more than two organisations. The structure of organisations in the database is constantly maintained by Thomson Reuters, thus eliminating the need for customers to invest in expensive and time-consuming counterparty validation exercises.

The new bilateral chat controls work in conjunction with Eikon Messenger's suite of active compliance tools, including features for keyword blocking, disclaimers and policy enforcement.

"Thomson Reuters connects and powers the global financial community with the principles of trust, openness and innovation," said Yvette Jackson, global head of collaboration services at Thomson Reuters. "Eikon Messenger is a key part of how we do that. Our bilateral chat and other compliance services mean customers can be sure they know the counterparties they are dealing wi