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Steps to improve whistleblower confidence announced by the FCA

This week the FCA set out the actions it will take in order to improve the confidence of whistleblowers. This follows a qualitative survey of whistleblowers, carried out in 2022, who provided feedback regarding their experiences and in some instances they felt they were not taken seriously or listened to.

The regulator relies on whistleblowers to provide insights into both the firms and markets it regulates. This covers market misconduct and can include, for example, unauthorised firms taking on customers, customers being mis-sold loans or products or and authorised firms who fail to have robust internal whistleblowing procedures.

Areas for improvement include:

  • feedback to whistleblowers with more detail on what has been done with the information they provided, or reasons for taking or not taking action

  • improving the use of whistleblowers’ information across the FCA

  • enhancing its webform, which is currently the most popular channel whistleblowers use to contact the regulator

  • engaging with the Department for Business and Trade to support a review of whistleblower legislation to enhance the wider whistleblowing system

"We need the intelligence whistleblowers provide to identify and act on problems in the firms we regulate,"

said Therese Chambers, the FCA's head of enforcement and market oversight, in a statement.

In addition, the regulator admitted that it is constrained by legal confidentiality obligations in terms of how information can be currently shared. In its new approach it hopes to provide as much information as it can whilst keeping within these constraints.

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