Calls to whistleblower hotline for finance sector up 23 per cent

THE number of calls to the Financial Conduct Authority’s so-called whistleblower hotline to report suspected malpractice rose 23 per cent last year.

The FCA received 4,718 calls from staff at financial services firms in the year ending in August – up from 3,834 calls the year before, according to City law firm RPC.

But RPC partner Steven Francis said the rise does not mean there has been more malpractice.

“Whereas in the past people working in the industry might have turned a blind eye to colleagues’ misbehaviour, especially during the ‘good times’ of the pre credit-crunch bubble, they are now no longer happy to sit back and allow potential poor practice and misconduct to go unnoticed.”

Francis said firms needed to minimise the risk of damaging whistleblowing accusations by introducing robust internal reporting procedures.

“Staff need to know how to raise a potential issue, secure in the knowledge that it will be dealt with appropriately and seriously.”