Backbench Business - Whistleblowingbackbench Business

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:50 pm on 3rd July 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton 4:50 pm, 3rd July 2019

The right hon. Lady pays a very important tribute and makes a very important point about how we can persuade more people to come forward. It has to be about how they are protected and looked after. Looking at other regimes internationally and how they deal with this will be an important first step in reforming our whistleblowing procedures.

The big thing I would say about all the issues I deal with is that they go right to the top of these organisations. These are not at low level, they go right to the top. They must be dealt with—yes, by whistleblower reform, and, yes, by a regulator that is far more robust and regulates without fear or favour. I believe we need other measures, including a public inquiry into some of these situations and into the circumstances of the disgraceful treatment of many businesses, particularly by Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

I endorse many of the recommendations made by the right hon. Member for North Norfolk. I think we need a much more robust Financial Conduct Authority regulator. Culturally, the biggest issues in the regulator need fixing. We should look at whether we should provide financial incentives for whistleblowers of the right nature. We do need to make sure that our regulator goes in robustly when we see these mistreatments or improper practices, together with our law enforcement agencies. That is what happens in the States in these situations. It is a case of saying, “Either you deal with us and you deal with these issues, or we really will take further steps, including potential criminal sanctions.”

The situation is not where we want it to be, but I conclude by thanking the whistleblowers who do come forward. They are so important, and we would not be where we are today in understanding what has happened in the banking sector without the incredible contribution of many of the whistleblowers I deal with.