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FCA reviews firms' whistleblowing arrangements

View profile for Amy Douthwaite

Following concerns at the treatment of whistleblowers, and in order to encourage firms to foster a culture where staff could speak up without fear, the FCA and PRA introduced new rules regarding whistleblowing arrangements in September 2016.  This included the obligation on firms to appoint a Whistleblowing Champion.

The FCA has recently carried out a review of how firms have implemented those rules and provided a summary  of their findings, which includes areas of good practice and areas for improvement and their expectations for firms. The FCA findings can be found here.

One of the key findings related to the provision of training for staff, with the FCA concluding that most firms need to improve their whistleblowing training by:

  • improving the detail provided so that employees understand both how to raise concerns and the firm’s approach to maintaining confidentiality and preventing victimisation

  • distinguishing between training provided to all employees and training given to managers and those operating the whistleblowing arrangements (including investigation teams).

There is no doubt that raising concerns, and the management of the process once such concerns are raised, present challenges for staff and organisations alike. However it is vital that staff have confidence in whistleblowing processes in order for them to serve their purpose. If you would like help or guidance on managing your obligations regarding whistleblowing, or on raising a concern, or if you are a Whistleblowing Champion and require independent legal advice then please get in contact with a member of the team.