FCA sees rise in whistleblowing reports

The City watchdog saw a 14 per cent increase in the number of whistleblowing reports in the third quarter of 2022, with most complaints relating to compliance issues.

Fresh data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) showed that it received 291 reports between July and September 2022.

The number of allegations registered with the FCA also increased significantly, rising by 55 per cent to 734 allegations in total.

Compliance issues made up 120 of the allegations, followed by concerns surrounding fitness and propriety which accounted for 100, and issues to do with the culture of the organisation (99 allegations).

The regulator said most whistleblowers’ allegations fall into five overarching themes: fitness and propriety, treating customers fairly, compliance with the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA), culture and compliance.

Most whistleblowers who made reports provided contact details but 37 per cent did so anonymously to protect their identity. The most common method of reporting was by using the online complaints reporting form.

“Whistleblowing allows organisations like the FCA to receive and investigate allegations of wrongdoing,” said Dr Henry Balani, head of industry and regulatory affairs at anti-fraud software company Encompass Corporation.

“From data breaches to anti-money laundering and compliance issues, it remains vital that employees are able to report malpractice anonymously.

“The latest data shows a rise in reports, with this likely to be just a snapshot of the real picture. Still, organisations too often lack the robust processes or infrastructure to manage compliance effectively. Moving forward, banks and financial services firms need to think strategically about how they adhere to regulations by improving processes and taking advantage of innovative technology to reduce cost and improve accuracy and efficiency.”

In March last year, the FCA launched a campaign to encourage more whistleblowers to report wrongdoings.


By Suzie Neuwirth, 17th January 2023