FCA sets out whistleblowing rules

The FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority have published new rules to encourage staff to raise concerns over poor practice.

Banks, building societies, PRA-regulated investment firms and insurers will fall within the scope of the whistleblowing rules, which will take effect from 7 September 2016.

Firms will be required to appoint a senior manager as whistleblowers’ ‘champion’; produce an annual report to the board; inform the FCA if it loses an employment tribunal with a whistleblower; and alert employees to the regulators’ work in this area.

The FCA says it will consider expanding the rules to other regulated businesses, including mortgage brokers and investment firms, once today’s rules have been implemented.

FCA acting chief executive Tracey McDermott says: “Whistleblowers play an important role in exposing poor practice in firms and they have in the past few years contributed intelligence crucial to action taken against firms and individuals.”

She adds: “For individuals to have the confidence to come forward, it is vital that firms have in place adequate policies on dealing with whistleblowers and that a senior manager takes responsibility for overseeing these policies.”

The regulators introduced the rules following the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ 2013 recommendation.

In 2014/15 the FCA received 1,340 whistleblowing disclosures, compared to 1,040 in the previous year and just 138 in 2007/8.