Whistleblowing: How to make a report

Aug 10th '21

Find out how to report your concerns to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Whistleblowing team and what happens to your information once you have made a report.


When reporting your concerns, it’s important you first understand the whistleblowing process.


You may be nervous about making a report about your employer or someone that you know well. So, to make sure you are comfortable with the whistleblowing journey, here are the steps you should take and what the FCA will do when you report wrongdoing.


If you’re unsure about who to contact, find out where to make your report.


Before contacting the FCA

Before speaking to the regulator, you should consider:


  • raising your concerns internally at your firm (if you are confident doing so)
  • speaking with the whistleblowing charity Protect
  • taking time to understand more about the legal protections given to whistleblowers through the Public Interest Disclosure Act


What happens when you contact the FCA

If you have any questions, or if you’re ready to make a report, they’ll make sure you understand the process and will help you where possible.


You’ll be assigned a dedicated member of the Whistleblowing team as your case officer. Your case officer can arrange to speak with you or meet you in person to talk about your concerns.


Your case officer will:


  • listen to your concerns in full
  • take the time to understand your concerns
  • ask questions to make sure they have the information they need to progress your report


The FCA may suggest that you make reports independently to other regulators or public bodies, such as law enforcement agencies if appropriate.


They will also formally acknowledge that they’ve received your information and give you a reference number.


FCA create a report

Once you have contacted them, the dedicated team will create a report about your concerns. It’s important to remember that this report will not identify you.


They will share this report securely with relevant teams at the FCA. They will assess the potential harm you have raised and what they can do to address your concerns, without disclosing your identity.


The FCA may also share your report with other regulators or public bodies, such as law enforcement agencies.


FCA make enquiries 

All the reports received are reviewed and assessed individually to identify potential harm. The FCA then review your concerns alongside other relevant information available to them and to the public.


They will consider how your concerns relate to any prior, current or proposed work they are doing with the firm


As part of the work, the FCA may decide to contact the firm. They may need help from you to ensure they are doing this in a way that doesn’t put you at risk.


What the FCA can’t do

They are unable to:


  • provide you with legal advice or guidance
  • accept reports that solely relate to employment disputes
  • share confidential information restricted by the Financial Services and Markets Act. This includes confidential information about the supervision work they do and enforcement investigations
  • provide you with exact timings on when the review of your report will be finalised


Updating you on your case

If you would like to receive updates on the progress of your case, you can ask them to contact you every 3 months. These updates will confirm that FCA work is ongoing, but they will often be limited in the detail they can provide.


Case closure and feedback

When the FCA has all the information they need and have taken action, your case will be reviewed by a senior manager.


They will then contact you again to update you on what we have done. However, the detail the FCA can provide is subject to confidentiality limitations.


Read whistleblower case studies to see how whistleblowing reports help them to act.


Timescales for cases

Each whistleblowing case is different and so the time it takes to assess each case will vary. Assessing and acting on whistleblowing information can take time – it may also become part of ongoing supervisory work with a specific firm.


For these reasons, the FCA can’t be specific about how long the process will take, but typically a case will last for a few months or more.


What they can share with you 

Once they’ve received your information, the FCA may not need to speak to you further while they look at the details. They will contact you if there are more questions about your report, or to ensure they know how to protect your identity in any actions they take.


You can ask the FCA to contact you every 3 months to provide you with a limited update on the progress of our review of your case. Otherwise, you will hear once they’ve finished the review.


It’s important to understand that what can be share with you will be limited due to the confidential or sensitive nature of the information or legal restrictions.


The FCA always aim to make sure you understand how your information has been used by them.


Cases that result in prosecutions, fines or bans will normally be made public. Where they can publish outcomes of cases, and where your information has helped them, the FCA will normally let you know.


Make a whistleblowing report

The information received from whistleblowers helps the FCA to act. As a regulator, they can only act on your concerns if you tell them.


Many regulated firms will have a whistleblowing process in place, and if you feel confident in doing so, you may wish to follow this process before speaking to the regulator. You don’t have to do so though.


If you have more questions about the process, or are ready report it to the FCA, you can:


  • call: +44 (0)20 7066 9200 during office hours or leave a message
  • email: whistle@fca.org.uk
  • use the online form to make a report
  • write to: Intelligence Department (Ref PIDA), Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN


The FCA can arrange to meet with you to discuss your concerns in person, but they will need some information before meeting with you. To find out more, please contact the Whistleblowing team using the contact details above.


Contact the PRA for any wrongdoing related to prudential issues in a PRA-regulated firm.


What to include in your report

To start the process, an email or phone call is enough. To help the FCA quickly understand and progress your report, it will be helpful to know the following:


  • the firm or individual’s name
  • what is the suspected wrongdoing
  • who is involved
  • how long it has been going on
  • where this is happening
  • what is the impact
  • if you have any supporting documents or evidence you can share.


The FCA don’t encourage whistleblowers to proactively obtain any more information from any source, whatever the circumstances, as this might break the law. However, they may ask whistleblowers to clarify the information they have already given to them.


What they will need to know about you

It is helpful to have your contact details (an email address, for example). This is not mandatory, but the FCA may sometimes need to ask you more questions or follow up on the information you’ve provided.


Any of the details you share will be stored securely and limit access to this information to the Whistleblowing team. Remember, providing the FCA with your details is up to you − they will accept and process your information if you want to remain anonymous as well.


 Contact the FCA Whistleblowing team


  • call: +44 (0)20 7066 9200 during office hours or leave a message
  • email: whistle@fca.org.uk
  • write to: Intelligence Department (Ref PIDA), Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN
  • use the online form to make a report


Please note, all calls are recorded to make sure they capture your information correctly


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