The PRA has published Policy Statement 8/17: Whistleblowing in non-EEA UK branches (PS8/17). In PS8/17 the PRA provides feedback to responses to its earlier consultation and sets out final rules on whistleblowing in non-EEA UK branches.
The PRA reports in PS8/17 that there was broad support for the proposals set out in its consultation and therefore it has only made one change to the rules. In its consultation the PRA proposed to require:
- UK branches of non-EEA banks and both EEA and non-EEA insurers to inform their workers about the PRA and the FCA whistleblowing services; and
- any non-EEA deposit-taker with both a UK branch and UK subsidiary which is subject to the existing whistleblowing rules, to inform UK branch staff about the subsidiary’s whistleblowing channel. This proposal did not apply to insurers.
The PRA has now decided not to apply the whistleblowing rules to UK branches of EEA insurers. The change to the scope aligns the rules for insurers with those of deposit takers.
In its feedback to the consultation the PRA notes that while agreeing with its proposals for UK branches of non-EEA deposit-takers that are in the same group as UK subsidiaries, one respondent noted that making a disclosure to another member of the group was not equivalent in law with making a disclosure to their own employer. Whilst acknowledging this point the PRA states that the rules have been designed with the protection of whistleblowers firmly in mind. The PRA adds:
“The PRA requires relevant non-EEA branches to inform all workers of what would constitute a protected disclosure; branch workers should be made aware of the protections afforded by the Employment Rights Act 1996 as amended by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. The requirement to make branch workers aware of the subsidiary’s whistleblowing channel is intended to ensure that, where branch staff become aware of wrongdoing and can make a protected disclosure, they are aware that they may do so through the subsidiary’s internal whistleblowing channel.”
The new rules comes into force on 7 September 2017.
View PRA policy statement on whistleblowing rules for UK branches and insurers, 26 April 2017