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Race report rocks regulator

The FSA has admitted a “small number of individual problems” after a leaked internal report identified a racist culture at the regulator.

The report, which was published internally in September 2008 and leaked to The Observer last week, criticises FSA staff and chief executives of FSA-regulated firms for racist behaviour, including offensive language and jokes.

It was compiled after more than 1,800 staff completed a “diversity climate questionnaire” online.

According to reports, some lower-level employees have claimed they are too fright- ened to speak out, saying it is “career suicide” to make a complaint against senior staff.

An FSA spokeswoman says: “We pride ourselves on being an inclusive organisation and we do not tolerate discrimination. We commissioned this study because we wanted to see how we were doing and a lot of positives also came out of it.”

She says that she is unsure whether the report will now be made public. She adds: “I do not see why it should be. Yes, the report did identify a small number of individual problems but it found that they were not endemic in the FSA.”

A former FSA employee told Money Marketing he felt forced to leave after two years at the regulator due to racial discriminatpion. He says: “Employees at the FSA have totally different experiences there, depending on their race. Minority races are made to feel ostracised and this filters right through all levels of the FSA.

“The culture there made me feel that if I spoke up I would suffer. There is a lot of bullying going on there. If people do not like you, you are in for a tough time. I cannot believe it is being allowed to continue.”

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