In March, the FCA launched its “In confidence, with confidence” campaign, aimed at encouraging employees and ex-employees of financial services firms to report potential wrongdoing directly to the FCA. Whilst the reporting of potential wrongdoing directly to the FCA is not a new concept, the launching of this campaign signals that the FCA continues to view whistleblowing as a key priority, and as playing a key role in helping the regulator to discharge its duties of protecting consumers, markets and firms.
Interestingly, the campaign extends its reach to also encourage individuals who have a personal relationship with employees and ex-employees of firms to report potential wrongdoing for example, family members, close friends and neighbours. No doubt the pandemic and the new norm of remote working have played a part in the decision to extend the reach, with working from home arrangements creating further opportunities for conduct risk, and for potential misconduct to be spotted by those outside of the organisation.
To support the campaign the FCA has produced:
- materials for firms to share with their employees, including an employee leaflet and campaign posters; and
- a toolkit for industry bodies and consumer groups to encourage people to blow the whistle.
The FCA has also updated its website with further information for potential reporters, including emphasising the confidentiality processes that exist around whistleblowing, and explaining that whistleblowers can remain