In response to the recommendation made by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), the PRA and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) propose a package of measures which seek to formalise firms’ whistleblowing procedures. These proposals aim to move towards a more consistent approach, building on existing good practice in firms. They aim to ensure that all employees are encouraged to blow the whistle where they suspect misconduct, confident that their concerns will be considered and that there will be no personal repercussions.
This consultation is intended to build upon current good practice in the banking and insurance sector, and the FCA’s existing guidance on how firms handle whistleblowers. The PRA and FCA propose a set of rules that will apply to UK banks, building societies, credit unions, PRA-designated investment firms and insurers. The FCA intends to consult in the future on whether to require similar whistleblowing mechanisms to be introduced by a wider range of firms it regulates.
Summary of proposals
The PRA and FCA propose that relevant firms should:
- Put internal whistleblowing arrangements in place (if they are not already), and inform their UK-based employees about these arrangements.
- Inform their employees that they can blow the whistle to the FCA or the PRA.
- Offer protections to all whistleblowers, whatever their relationship with the firm and whatever the topic of their disclosure.
- Include provisions in new employment contracts and settlement agreements which clarify that nothing in that agreement prevents an employee (or ex-employee) from making a protected disclosure.
- Allocate the prescribed responsibility for whistleblowing under the Senior Managers Regime and Senior Insurance Managers Regime to an individual (the “whistleblowers’ champion”) with responsibility for:
- overseeing the effectiveness of internal whistleblowing arrangements, including arrangements for protecting whistleblowers against detrimental treatment;
- preparing an annual report to the board about their operation; and
- reporting to the FCA where, in a case before an employment tribunal contested by the firm, the tribunal finds in favour of a whistleblower.
Whistleblowing in deposit-takers, PRA-designated investment firms and insurers - CP6/15
This consultation closed on Friday 22 May 2015.
Please address comments or enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FCA and the PRA will share and consider together the feedback received and will publish policy statements with the final rules at a later date.
Final policy in relation to this consultation is available under related links.