Whistleblowers who expose bank scandals to get better protection

Companies that fail to deal properly with concerns raised by staff to face fines

Banks that fail to protect whistleblowers could face heavy fines under measures being considered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The watchdog could begin consultations on the measure within weeks, having identified the issue as a priority for the new year.

The move follows a demand from the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), which highlighted improving protection for whistleblowers as a key measure to prevent future wrongdoing at banks and excessive risk-taking by them.

Both the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority are also due to make a statement on providing financial incentives for people to come forward.

It comes amid concern that people could still be put off from raising issues because of the risk of retribution from employers, and the difficulties they could face with potential future employers afterwards.

One of the most high-profile whistleblowers in Britain is Paul Moore, who voiced concerns about excessive risk-taking at HBOS to the bank’s board years before its near-collapse. He lost his job as a result.

In an interview with the Financial Times last year he said whistleblowers in the UK and been “ignored, demeaned, dismissed, publicly rubbished and treated like outcasts”. He spoke out shortly after the charity Public Concern at Work had warned that 75 per cent of employees in financial services were ignored when they first raised concerns.

Teams from both watchdogs visited the US last year to investigate the approach taken there with regulators, government, support groups and lawyers. In the US informants can receive between 10 and 30 per cent of any penalties regulators or courts levy on miscreants. However, this can lead to the creation of millionaire whistleblowers, a situation that makes policymakers and watchdogs in Britain queasy, even though proponents say that it could eliminate one of the barriers to whistleblowers acting – severe detriment to their careers.

The FCA does usually seek to protect the identity of an informant, but this isn’t always possible if their information leads to court action against a bank. Watchdogs can, however, appear as a witness during employment tribunals.

Despite the lack of incentives the FCA says it has dealt with more than 5,000 calls from informants over the past 12 months, with a 350 per cent increase between 2007 and 2012. The third quarter of 2013 saw a 72 per cent increase in contacts. The watchdog said it had “conducted a detailed review of our whistleblowing procedures and have increased resources to track and analyse whistleblowing information”.

In September it introduced processes to establish where risks are emerging as well as areas where intelligence gaps exist, besides responding to specific whistleblowing concerns.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

HR Business Partner - Banking Finance - Brentwood - £45K

£45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...

PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on