Whistleblowing in the financial sector

In the aftermath of the financial crash, there have been many reforms in the banking sector and improvements made to the whistleblowing process, as part of the regulators attempts to clean up the industry.  Banks and other companies within the financial sector will now be forced to educate their employees on how to blow the whistle on illegal or improper behaviour.  They will be required to appoint a “whistleblowers champion” within the firm who will be responsible for informing all employees about and the firm’s whistleblowing procedures and the whistleblowing services offered by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

The changes also force firms to inform their boards of all whistleblowing activity at least once a year and keep the regulator abreast of any employment tribunal loss, brought about by a whistleblower.

What should you report

If you are aware of any illegal or improper activity in your firm, you have an obligation to report it.  Activity could include:

  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Misappropriation of funds
  • Corruption
  • Deceptive marketing
  • Unfair billing
  • Lending money at exorbitant or unlawful rates of interest
  • Predatory lending
  • Illegal debt collection
  • Illegal Credit Card Practices
  • Illegal insider trading

How to make a disclosure

If you are working within the financial services industry and want to report illegal activity or wrong doing there are a variety of options available to you.  Your firm will have an existing whistleblowing policy.  If you have not been informed what the procedure is, consult your senior manager or whistleblowing champion.  They are obliged to help you make your disclosure.  

You may feel that making the disclosure to somebody within your firm is not appropriate.  For example; it may compromise your position, you may feel information could be covered up, you feel you will be treated unfairly or you have already reported it and nothing has been done. There are other options available to you and your regulatory body is the best option in the first instance.  Both the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority have dedicated whistleblowing services to help you.  Information on how to get in touch with your regulator regarding whistleblowing is provided below.

Financial Conduct Authority
Prudential Regulation Authority

 

For more information and support about whistleblowing, there are many charities who are here to help, such as:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *