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Advisers top FCA whistleblowing list

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Advisers were the subject of more whistleblowing cases than any other sector, the FCA has revealed.

The regulator’s annual report, published today, shows the FCA processed 1,340 intelligence cases containing information from whistleblowers in 2014/15, up 28 per cent from 2013/14.

This information was shared with external stakeholders – including the National Crime Agency, police forces, HMRC, and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority – in over 160 cases.

Advisers topped the whistleblowing list with 271 cases, significantly higher than 2nd placed consumer credit with 208 cases.

Some 126 cases related to unauthorised business, 35 were about asset management, 10 related to Sipps and 7 were aimed at mortgage intermediaries.

Of the whistleblowing cases recorded last year, 10 directly contributed to FCA enforcement activity or the protection of consumers through other intervention; 172 were of “significant value” to the regulator; and 468 may be of value but are not currently actionable.

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 2nd July 2015 at 7:56 pm

    So the FCA processed (whatever that might mean) 1,340 intelligence cases but only 10 of them directly contributed to FCA enforcement activity or the protection of consumers through other intervention. What happened or was done about the other 1,330 cases? 10 out of 1,340 cases is an action rate of just 0.75% which seems to be, well, choose your own word/s.

    • IMHO the other 99.25% might just be, mud slinging, and not worth following up (not wishing to give the FCA the benefit of the doubt),

      This is my issue with the whole “whistle blowing” thing, what really is the time and cost, and is it really worth it, when there are more important (more obvious) things to concentrate on, rather than piss around sifting 1340 IFA cases (to find 10 wrong ones) when a simple search on google would produce so much more very real and more risk charlatans.

      This figure of 1340 represents circa 5% of all IFA’s ? maybe that’s why the FCA think we are all going to run off with the family silver.

  2. @ Julian: “significant value” cases would include ones where other sources had already identified issues, and also where the intelligence prompted a look at a firm but action was ultimately taken for different reasons and/or a different evidence base. For example, it’s a lot easier to nail someone for capital adequacy breaches than mis-selling – simply because the evidence is a lot less subjective – and you would (or should) be amazed at how many people misreport their finances. This is the point where you go “Aha! Maybe the FCA does look at all that data it gets sent after all.”

    • So what you are saying then Adam -:

      Its selective culling (the easy way) “you haven’t got enough money so your out” !

      Either way you cut it comes down to money ! elitism if you will

      Seems strange, that the FCA lost circa 50 million this year and has a 33 million deficit in its pension fund, that we have to fill ?

      And now, I (as a one man Ltd company) will have to keep 20k capital in a bank account or similar which I will have to effectively pay tax on it twice !!

      And yes to damn right the FCA scrutinises all the data it gets, I has to know how much it can collect, they are in fact farmers not regulators

  3. @ DH – it’s more about people who lie to the regulator about how much money they’ve got. If you were to compare a firm’s regulatory returns to the figures it files at Companies House, you could sometimes be forgiven for thinking you were looking at two different entities. That’s a situation I used to see at least monthly.

  4. It’s good news that advisers are making reports to the FCA but what these figures do not show is the type of complaint that is being made and where action has been taken what were the results.

    We all aware of the mass breaches of rules within financial services in connection with unauthorised firms but this does not demonstrate what action the FCA are actually taking against those entities.

    A good example of a company that clearly breached FSA rules on marketing was Harlequin property which resulted in the FCA giving an unprecedented warning to consumers. Many advisers reported their concerns to the FCA as far back as 2009 but it was only in 2012 that the regulator took any action after many investors lost millions of pounds.

    It is clear that the regulator does have a statutory objective to protect consumers but it continues to turn a blind eye to activities in the marketplace by not enforcing rules set out in the Financial Services and Marketing at 2000 and 2012.

    Although I respect the FCA’s need for secrecy in actual detail of cases I do believe that needs to be greater transparency in the numbers and size of the problem. I for one would like to know how many websites the FCA has actually closed down for unauthorised activities and referred to prosecution as the numbers mentioned in this report are truly scarily low compared to the potential size of the problem.

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