In a first case under the Senior Managers Regime, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation have fined the CEO of the Barclays Group £642,430 for failing to act with due skill, care and diligence by attempting to identify the author of an anonymous whistleblowing letter. They have also put special requirements in place for Barclays to comply with to protect whistleblowers in the future.
If an individual does not treat a report of poor practice or misconduct confidentially, tries to supress the disclosure or seeks to find out who an anonymous whistleblower is, they could face claims for detriment. If they are regulated, they may also face substantial fines and the imposition of special requirements.
Those who receive and investigate a disclosure should also comply with internal policies, check if there are any conflicts of interest and exercise impartial judgment.
Whistleblowers are protected from suffering a detriment or being dismissed because of the disclosure and can claim against individual managers as well as the company.
As in this case, there may also be interventions from financial regulators.