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Calls to FCA whistleblower hotline still rising

  • 09/01/2014
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Calls to FCA whistleblower hotline still rising
Calls to the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) whistleblower hotline to report malpractice are continuing to rise, according to figures obtained by investigations firm Kroll.

In November, Mortgage Solutions’ sister-title IFAonline reported figures from law firm RPC for the eight months to last August that showed a 23% increase in tip-offs.

Kroll’s more recent figures – for the period of November 2012 to October 2013 – reveal that number has increased further to a 35% rise in calls to the hotline last year.

The FCA received 5,150 tip-offs during that period, up from 3,813 over the same time in the previous year.

The number of new cases created by the FCA was up by 72% in the third quarter of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012, rising from 148 to 254.

Kroll managing director Benedict Hamilton said: “As companies increasingly invest in often risky emerging markets, and [as] more stringent regulation and guidance governing whistleblowing procedures is introduced, we believe cases of whistleblowing will continue to rise.

“The UK authorities are considering offering rewards to whistleblowers, as they are a very effective way of discovering fraud.

“The increase in overseas whistleblower tip-offs to the SEC shows the policy’s impact on international companies in particular. Those thinking about reporting corporate malpractice might be tempted to go to the US regulator rather than their own, wherever they are based in the world, in the hope of receiving a substantial reward.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is examining the law governing whistleblower protection in order to determine whether it is still operating effectively.

Protections were introduced in response to a number of major disasters and scandals in the 1980s and 1990s including the collapse of Barings Bank and the Robert Maxwell fraud.

The majority of this framework has not been reviewed, prior to this latest consultation, since the introduction of the Public Interest Disclosure Act in 1998.

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