Suited avatars and digital offices: traders and bankers embrace VR

LONDON (Reuters) – Once the preserve of gamers, virtual reality (VR) has been seized on by the financial sector as a way of enlivening home working for lonely traders or isolated executives and replicating real-world sales, networking or training events.

FILE PHOTO: A visitor wears virtual reality glasses during the Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

With 90% of employees at some of the world’s biggest financial firms now working at home due to a resurgence in coronavirus infections, more and more companies are experimenting with VR.

Some practices could stick beyond the pandemic, particularly as home working becomes more widespread.

At investment manager Fidelity International, executives experimented with a VR auditorium, taking questions from colleagues and even walking up and down the aisles.

“Working from home has massively accelerated the interest in virtual/online spaces,” said Stuart Warner, head of technology at

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Inside Wall Street’s battle with traders over their use of non-compliant messenger apps like WhatsApp and WeChat

A compliance executive who oversees markets and securities services at a top Wall Street bank said messaging apps have become more of a pressing issue in the past two or three years. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy freely.



Traders have increasingly looked to do business on messenger apps like WeChat and WhatsApp. WhatsApp; Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider


© WhatsApp; Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
Traders have increasingly looked to do business on messenger apps like WeChat and WhatsApp. WhatsApp; Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

And while firms can warn people to stay off certain apps and offer company-approved devices and channels, there’s always the temptation to meet client preferences or use WhatsApp for more informal communications inside the firm. 

If a bank is dealing with a client that uses WeChat or WhatsApp, and that’s the way they want to communicate, “it creates a challenge for us,” this compliance exec told Business Insider. 

Business Insider spoke with more than a dozen traders, compliance experts, tech

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