FCA refers one in 10 whistleblowers to authorities
In the past year the regulator said it processed 1,340 intelligence cases containing sanitised information from whistleblowers. It shared information with external stakeholders in over 160 cases.
Information from whistleblowers has contributed to firms and individuals being fined, permissions being varied or withdrawn, warning letters being issued and a range of other early intervention actions, such as asking a firm for clarification about their activities.
In its annual report, the FCA said: “We have also used information from whistleblowers to inform our supervisory strategy.
“2014/15 saw the upward trend continue with a 28% increase on 2013/14. The number of cases has more than trebled over the last five years and highlights the greater importance we have placed on whistleblowing and increased awareness across the sector.”
The number of whistleblowing cases involving mortgage advisers was low at just seven in the past 12 months. Financial advisers meanwhile were the worst offenders with 271 whistleblowers raising concerns about them.
FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones said: “We take appropriate steps where we find risks or issues that threaten our objectives, but we aim to work with the industry and communicate transparently to ensure not only that our expectations are clear, but that firms and individuals are reasonably able to meet them.
“Measurement of regulatory outcomes is not an exact science, but there are some indicators of a positive direction of travel highlighted in this report. Credit for this lies with the firms we regulate, who have embraced the conduct agenda.”
The annual report also revealed that 20 would-be banks are in the FCA’s pre-approval stages having expressed an interest in authorisation.