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On 23 February 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published a joint consultation on whistleblowing procedures in deposit-takers, PRA-designated investment firms and insurers.
The joint consultation outlines the proposed requirements that all relevant firms will be required to have internal whistleblowing arrangements.
The potential requirements include informing all UK-based employees about the firm's whistle blowing policy, and in particular, highlighting to all employees that they are allowed to report any concerns that they have in relation to their firm's practices to the FCA or PRA. Part of this potential requirement involves requiring the employer to go as far as including a specific clause in all new employment contracts, setting out the employee's right to blow the whistle.
A further recommendation includes the introduction of a whistleblowing champion to oversee the firm's whistleblowing practice.
The deadline for responding to this consultation is on 22 May 2015. The consultation only relates to deposit-takers, PRA-designated investment firms and insurers, but the FCA has stated its intention to consult on the same topic with other firms it regulates in due course. Best practice
As stated above, this is only a consultation and as such is not legally binding, however it does contain some sensible suggestions that many organisations should consider. It also illustrates that several regulators are now beginning to consider regulating private firms' whistleblowing procedures. As such it is prudent for all firms to have a robust whistleblowing policy which is made available to all employees.