UK FCA Launches New Whistleblowing Initiative
On March 24, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the launch of a campaign to encourage individuals to report wrongdoing — i.e., whistleblowing.
The campaign, which the FCA refers to as “In confidence, with confidence,” encourages individuals working in the UK financial services sector to report potential wrongdoing to the FCA and reminds them of the confidentiality processes in place.
In parallel, the FCA has published materials for firms to share with employees and a digital toolkit for industry bodies, consumer groups and whistleblowing groups to encourage individuals to have confidence to step forward.
The FCA’s website has been updated to provide more information for potential whistleblowers, and the FCA Whistleblowing Team (which the FCA has announced it has bolstered with additional headcount) is developing a confidential web form, increasing the ways in which whistleblowers can make disclosures.
The FCA’s whistleblowing webpage sets out information on:
When someone should speak to the FCA.
How the FCA protects whistleblowers’ identities — noting that individuals can choose to remain anonymous, but if someone does share any information about themselves, the FCA will keep this safe.
What the FCA will do with a whistleblower’s information. Every report the FCA receives is reviewed, and the FCA will protect individual whistleblowers’ identities.
Whistleblowers that report to the FCA will have a dedicated case manager. They can meet with the FCA to discuss their concerns and can receive optional regular updates throughout the investigation.
The FCA’s press release regarding the campaign reminds firms that culture and governance remain a key priority for the FCA, and its whistleblowing rules require firms to have effective arrangements in place for employees to raise concerns and to guarantee these concerns are handled appropriately and confidentially.