Whistleblowing is raising a concern with someone in authority, either within the workplace or externally (e.g. to a regulator), about a danger, risk, malpractice or wrongdoing that affects others.
How whistleblowing differs from raising a grievance
Blowing the whistle and raising a grievance are different. Someone raising a grievance usually has a personal interest in the issue they’re raising: for example, that they’ve been unfairly treated or discriminated against at work, or their employer has breached their contract of employment. Someone blowing the whistle usually has no direct, personal interest in the concern they’re raising; they are simply trying to alert others to something they feel needs urgent attention, most likely because it has the potential to impact others.
The CII and whistleblowing
The CII can't respond to whistleblowing approaches from its members or from the public. If you want to blow the whistle you should contact the relevant regulatory authority, which in the majority of cases will be the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). This is because regulators have specific powers to investigate concerns and apply any necessary sanctions.
The CII will consider any sanctions imposed by a regulator upon a member of the CII when considering potential disciplinary action.
What our Code of Ethics says about whistleblowing
Our Code of Ethics applies to all our members. It is made up of five core duties, each of which is supported by several requirements and reflective questions.
The Code’s second core duty says: “You must act with the highest ethical standards and integrity.” One of the questions under this principle that members are asked to reflect upon is: “Does my organisation have a whistleblowing policy?”
And while the Code’s third core duty refers to client confidentiality, the first core duty requires a member to “give confidential information to the relevant authorities where the information relates to a criminal act or fraud by your client”.