WhatsApp with sharing Confidential Information?

The significant impact of social media on business and working life has again been highlighted by a recent decision of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”).

In the decision relating to the banker, Christopher Niehaus, the FCA fined the Managing Director of an investments bank just over £37,000.  Had Mr. Niehaus failed to admit his misconduct at an early stage, the fine would undoubtedly have been more.

The banker who was an FCA approved person, was found to have breached confidentiality when he used WhatsApp to share confidential information about clients with friends.  The information was not extensive and, importantly, there was no suggestion that the banker had benefited from the breach of the confidentiality; the banker was primarily bragging about his role and his earnings.  Despite this, a significant fine was imposed.

Niki Avraam, Employment Partner comments: The considerable fine imposed was not the banker’s only concern; the implication for his future career prospects was another.  The FCA stressed in this decision, that when considering the possible damage to reputation, it would publicise the details as it saw fit.


Howat Avraam Solicitors provide Commercial, Employment and Contract Dispute advice to companies and business owners.  As business owners ourselves, we have a pragmatic in-house approach to resolving issues before they arise by working alongside our clients.  We are commercial, practical and entrepreneurial in our approach to legal services.

To discuss any employment matter on a no obligation basis, please contact Niki Avraam, Employment Partner, on 020 7884 9194 or email Niki at Niki.Avraam@hasolicitors.co.uk.  Alternatively, visit our website at www.howatavraamsolicitors.co.uk.

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