FCA receives 2,700 allegations of financial misconduct from whistleblowers

FCA receives 2,700 allegations of financial misconduct from whistleblowers

Wayne Johnson

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has received a total of 2,754 separate allegations of misconduct, including fraud, money laundering and compliance complaints, according to official figures.

The data, analysed by the Parliament Street think tank and contained in the FCA’s newly published annual report, details the allegations, which were provided by a total of 1,046 whistleblowers in the last 12 months.

The report also revealed that there are 184 individuals and firms under investigation for carrying out unauthorised business, and £189.8 million in financial penalties had been handed out over the same period, alongside a number of prosecutions alleging insider dealing, investment fraud or money laundering.

The FCA revealed it has strengthened its anti-money laundering (AML) supervisions over the last year, becoming more data-led and drawing from a range of information sources. As a result, at the end of March 2021, the body said that it had increased the number of firms required to submit financial crime-related data.

The 1,046 ‘whistleblowing’ reports – staffers reporting against their own organisation – is a small reduction when compared to the 1,100 reports in 2019/20, and, this year, 15 led to ‘significant action’ to mitigate harm, which may have included enforcement action.

FY 20/21 also marked the first full financial year when the FCA was responsible for accessing the AML measures of cryptoasset businesses, which pose “increased risk of financial crime”. The report revealed that 138 firms that appeared to be trading without having applied for registration had been placed on a public-facing register.

Wayne Johnson, CEO, Encompass Corporation, said: “This year, more individuals are attempting to use the chaos of the pandemic to carry out financial crime. Therefore, it is important that the FCA is taking the necessary to steps to tighten their control and increase visibility over new sectors and payments technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, which are being used to launder money.”

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