The FX probe took a dramatic turn yesterday with the news that the Bank of England suspended an official in relation to the alleged manipulation of FX rates.

The misconduct that is alleged (which seems to relate to who knew what when, and who they told) goes back as far as 2006 since when untold trillions of dollars of FX transactions have taken place.

But who is to blame?

A Bank official has bData Clustereen suspended, apparently for covering up rather than colluding. But how is it that one official can come into possession of such explosive material, and yet no-one else has access to it, seemingly?

Large financial services organisations are increasingly (and in the wake of the FX chatroom revelations doing so at high speed) implementing sophisticated surveillance of internal communications, covering email, IM and voice traffic to increase transparency, and to try to ensure that more people have more access to more relevant information from unstructured data.

But are the regulators following suit? A good question for Mark Carney next week when he is grilled by the Treasury Select Committee is not so much “what happened?”, but “how will you make sure it doesn’t happen again?” – After all, who guards the guards?

The speed of data, and its volume, is increasing at unprecedented levels. But within all of that data is something that is potentially of great value to an organisation, maybe to make it money, or to save it from huge embarrassment. We have to employ sophisticated automated systems to help manage this data.

No computer can possibly tell us the answers (yet), but perhaps they can help us ask the right questions

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