FCA sets out steps to improve whistleblower confidence

by Meg Bratley

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is today setting out actions to improve the confidence of whistleblowers – including sharing further information with whistleblowers on how it’s acted on their information; improving the use of information provided by whistleblowers; and improving how it captures information from whistleblowers.

This follows a qualitative survey of whistleblowers who had provided information to the FCA to understand their experience and identify areas for improvement.

The FCA will:

  • provide whistleblowers with more detail on what has been done with the information provided, or reasons for taking or not taking action;
  • improve the use of whistleblowers’ information across the FCA (eg making the best use of data and ensuring that end-to-end whistleblowing processes are as efficient as possible);
  • enhance its webform – which is the most popular way for whistleblowers to contact the FCA – to fully capture every whistleblower’s disclosure;
  • engage with the Department for Business and Trade to support a review of whistleblower legislation to enhance the wider whistleblowing system.

Whistleblowing provides the FCA with unique insights from inside the firms and markets it regulates. It has allowed it to identify and correct problems including consumers being mis-sold loans, unauthorised firms taking on customers, and failings in firms’ own internal whistleblowing procedures.

Therese Chambers, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said:

‘We need the intelligence whistleblowers provide to identify and act on problems in the firms we regulate. We want to make sure we’re capturing and using the information provided by whistleblowers as effectively as possible, and to give them as much information as the law allows on how we have acted on their concerns.’

The FCA’s ability to share information about how it has acted on the information provided by whistleblowers is often restricted by legal confidentiality obligations. The FCA’s revised approach will provide as much information as possible within these legislative constraints.

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