A member of the Employment team is speaking at a Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) seminar taking place on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 12.30-2.15pm.


The humiliating example of Jes Staley, Chief Executive of Barclays, making multiple apologies and suffering a bonus cut, has brought the issue of whistle-blowing to the fore this spring. Mr Staley tried to uncover the identity of a whistle-blower. This goes against one of the key tenets of culture change at banks: people should not be inhibited from speaking up.

The UK has tightened up the rules protecting whistle-blowers since the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards said banks were like “Potemkin villages”. It observed that: “Poor governance and controls are illustrated by the rarity of whistle-blowing…even where…prolonged and blatant misconduct has been evident.”

The whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work (set up in 1993) aims to protect society by advising individuals with whistleblowing dilemmas at work; supporting organisations with whistleblowing arrangements; and informing public policy. PCAW’s chair, Carol Sergeant, will kick off the debate on the subject. Carol, a former senior regulator and Chief Risk Officer for Lloyds Bank, now chairs the board risk committee for Danske Bank, TP ICAP, and for BNY Mellon S.A. (she’s also a member of the CSFI’s governing council).

Protecting whistle-blowers is one of many things that senior managers at banks must worry about, following the ratcheting up of their personal accountability for staff conduct. The speakers include:

  • Rebecca Aston, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment’s lead on whistleblowing, author of its “Speak Up” initiative and a regular media commentator on professional ethics; and
  • Neil Chandler, founder of Endinel, which has developed secure whistleblowing technology aimed at financial firms. Previously, he was a senior financial services professional, most recently as a technical architect for JPMorgan.

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