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Advisers top FCA whistleblowing list

by: Carmen Reichman
  • 03/07/2015
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Advisers top FCA whistleblowing list
Financial advisers rank top in the regulator's list of firms people raised concerns about, according to figures published in its annual report.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said 271 cases involving advisers were reported to its whistleblowing service in the last year, out of a total 1,340 verified cases.

This was followed by consumer credit (208), retail banking (156) and retail insurance (155) businesses.

The vast majority of whistleblowing cases related to conduct and integrity in regulated firms, and some have led to regulatory intervention, the FCA said.

Whistleblowing activity has gained traction in recent years, with reports up 28% on the year before (1,040 cases) and threefold since 2011/12, when there were 424 cases.
Firms least often reported in the year were friendly societies and building societies as well as mortgage advisers.

The FCA uses whistleblowers’ information to inform its own supervisory strategy as well as share it with external stakeholders such as the National Crime Agency, police forces, HMRC, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and other regulators.

In 10 cases the information contributed to early intervention and enforcement activity.

However, the majority of reports – 468 – did not meet ‘current regulatory risk thresholds’ and was ‘not currently actionable’, it said.

Whistleblowers most frequently called with concerns about conduct in firms.

Honesty, integrity and the ability of people performing key roles, were some of the most reported issues.

The FCA also detected increasing concerns about pressure on sales results in firms, including the setting of sales targets, and around consumer credit.

About 13% of reports concerned consumer harm and the issue of ‘treating customers fairly’, the regulator said.

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