Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Thursday announced it has partnered with the tech firm CellTrust on a new client-to-adviser text messaging service.
Financial advisors enrolled in Merrill Lynch’s mobility program will now be able to text with clients on both Apple and Android devices and through a web interface that provides secure access to corporate email, calendar and contacts from devices linked to their office phone numbers, Merrill said. With the CellTrust SL2 for BlackBerry app, all communication is time- and date-stamped, tracked, logged and archived.
The program will roll out over the course of the next two months. The move is part of “an enhanced suite of digital features designed to make it easier for clients to collaborate with their financial advisors,” Merrill Lynch said.
Regulatory concerns have pushed banks and wirehouses to keep strict controls over adviser communications on text and social media. Only in April did the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority release compliance guidelines on text communications for advisors, outlining that they must retain text and chat messages with clients as if they were written or email communications.
The move comes at a time when many big banks are focusing more on digital wealth management services. Merrill Lynch is among the financial firms that has built its own robo-advisor, for example.