The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) rules for financial services firms including banks and insurers to create clear reporting channels and protections for whistleblowers are in force from 7 September 2016.

The new rules apply to UK deposit-takers with assets of £250m or greater (including banks, building societies and credit unions), PRA-designated investment firms, and insurance and reinsurance firms within the scope of Solvency II, the Society of Lloyd’s and managing agents.

The new rules on whistleblowing require these firms to:

  • appoint a Senior Manager as their whistleblowers’ champion (the champion should be a non-executive director, although if a firm’s governance structure does not include such a position, there is no requirement to create such a post. The champion must be subject to the Senior Managers Regime or the Senior Insurance Managers Regime);
  • implement internal whistleblowing arrangements to manage all types of disclosure from all types of people;
  • include text in settlement agreements explaining that workers have a legal right to blow the whistle;
  • present a report on whistleblowing to the firm’s board at least annually;
  • inform the FCA if it loses an employment tribunal proceeding with a whistleblower; and
  • require its appointed representatives and tied agents to tell their UK-based employees about the FCA whistleblowing service.