A new campaign to urge whistleblowers to come forward with evidence of wrongdoing has been launched by the Financial Conduct Authority.
This applies to the thousands who work in estate agencies which are FCA-regulated because of their sale of mortgages or other financial products.
The FCA campaign is called 'In confidence, with confidence’ and pledges that whistleblowers will have a dedicated confidential case manager who can meet with the FCA to discuss their concerns and can receive regular updates throughout the investigation.
“Every report the FCA receives is reviewed and the FCA will protect individual whistleblowers’ identities” says the authority.
It insists that regulated firms must have effective arrangements in place for employees to raise concerns, and to guarantee these concerns are handled confidentially via a whistleblower ‘champion’ within the organisation.
The FCA has in the past been criticised for not taking whistleblowing incidents seriously enough but now it has introduced a mandatory e-learning module for all staff, to help identify potential whistleblowers and make sure any intelligence received by the FCA is dealt with correctly and identities are protected.
“The FCA’s website has been updated to provide more comprehensive information for potential whistleblowers and the Whistleblowing team are developing a confidential web form, increasing the ways in which whistleblowers can make disclosures to them” says the authority.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, comments: “We want all whistleblowers to feel welcomed by us and to feel safe because of us. We listen to all whistleblowers and, if they shine a light on serious misconduct, we want to make sure we act responsibly. When whistleblowing works well it helps consumers, markets and firms and keeps everyone safe and that is our aim.”