Frances Ball 6 Mar 2019 02:30pm

Whistle-blower reports to the FCA rise 24%

The total number of whistle-blower reports to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have risen by 24% over the last 12 months

According to a report by BDO, 1,755 whistleblowing reports were sent to the FCA last year, up from the 1,420 it received in 2017.

Allegations of market manipulation more than doubled over that time period. The FCA was sent 41 reports of such practice in 2018.

After the high-profile scandals around Libor and forex rigging that broke in 2013, financial services firms have been particularly alert to the risks of heavy fines that met banks after 2013, the report said.

Moreover, the number of whistle-blowing reports on money laundering rose 46%, BDO revealed, while reports on data security rose 139% in the wake of GDPR, which was rolled out in May 2018.

The accountancy firm said the increase of reports directly from the financial services industry was an encouraging sign of successful self-policing.

Individuals and firms alike have been under more pressure to whistle-blow, after regulations such as the Markets Abuse Regulation and the Senior Managers and Certificates Regime were introduced in 2016.

Andrew Jacobs, partner at BDO, pointed out that regulations have increased the weight of expectation and accountability on senior executives. As he says, “whistleblowing is now expected practice in firms following the introduction of new rules.

“The main areas where whistleblowing reports have increased – namely financial crime and data security – directly correlate to FCA objectives in respect of appropriate protection for customers and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system”.