My hon. Friend is right. The FCA has a huge opportunity. It should regulate without fear or favour, but that is not where we are. It constantly looks over its shoulder at the banks and seeks to defend their reputation by concealing the truth, rather than robustly investigating these issues.
I asked Andrew Bailey four times a simple question in connection with this issue: did he follow the processes set out on the FCA website for how it deals with whistleblowers? Sally Masterton’s case was supposed to be referred to his team within five days and then go through the proper process. Did he do that? He has not responded to that question four times. It is totally unacceptable.
Sally Masterton says in her protected disclosure to Andrew Bailey:
“This is the tenth time that whistleblowing issues have been raised with you and ignored”,
over a period of five years. That is despite the fact that the FCA itself, in communication within the FCA, has admitted her report was well drafted and presented, and one FCA person said to another:
“I see a couple of potential risks…
We may get challenged as to what we”— the FCA—
“did about this report when received or LBG’s treatment of Mrs Masterton”.