‘Protect’ & The FCA – The foes of whistleblowers masquerading as friends.

In response to the ‘Silence in the City 2’ Report by ‘Protect’ (Formerly PCAW (Public Concern At Work)

In June of 2020, the body that promotes itself as the UK’s foremost whistleblower authority and charity, ‘Protect’ (Formerly PCAW), published its ‘Silence in the City 2’ report and findings.

This was a study undertaken specifically to see if new whistleblowing measures and rules introduced by financial regulators including the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in 2016 had the anticipated effect, and improved the treatment of whistleblowers, improved the culture within the City towards whistleblowers and improved the experience for whistleblowers.

As you will see from my ‘report’ below, the findings came as no surprise to me. The only surprise being that Protect were so ‘shocked’ by them.

What you are about to read includes content that is not my opinion written with the benefit of hindsight, but my predictions and warnings written three and four years ago respectively to both PCAW/Protect and The FCA.

Which begs the question as to why Protect and The FCA would go to such extraordinary lengths to avoid engaging with me, go to extraordinary lengths to unlawfully destroy me (in the case of The FCA), and go to extraordinary and unlawful lengths to exclude me from the recruitment process for Board and ‘Non-Exec’ roles at ‘Protect’.

I agree with the ‘Protect’ mantra; ‘Speak Up. Stop Harm’. I follow it daily. But for Protect and The FCA, it is not so much a mantra, but a snappy sounding tag line that presents an image of integrity and ‘friend’, contrary to the reality. That reality is that Protect and The FCA have for many years been leading employees that would speak up to their destruction like lambs to the slaughter. And they both know it.

A year on from these ‘Silence in the City 2’ findings, The FCA would have us believe that they are a reformed outfit, particularly in respect to their handling of whistleblowers……

Andrew Bailey testified before the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) earlier this year and claimed that certain parts of The FCA have perhaps not performed as well as they might in substantial part because The FCA had devoted so much time and resources to improving the whistleblowing processes and department at The FCA. Nonsense. Furthermore, Nikhil Rathi, the new CEO of The FCA, also when testifying before the TSC earlier this year, claimed that The FCA had made great strides and made major improvements.

Not so much. On February 18th 2021 just weeks prior to Rathi providing this testimony before the TSC, and months after he assumed the role, The FCA sent me a response to my complaint specific to The FCA treatment of me as a whistleblower in 2015, and their ‘handling’ in July 2015 of significant evidence that I had presented. I cannot say more at this time, other than that this response of February 18th was a knowingly false representation made with intent to conceal FCA failings & dishonesty dating back to 2015, and deny culpability for the financial and psychological damages that were a consequence for me.

And as of today, August 27th PCAW/Protect have still failed to fulfil the promises of their CEO in 2017 to meet with me and review my case and the concerns I raised with them. I also remain blocked by them on social media for no other reason than ‘Speaking Up’ and raising these same valid concerns in respect to PCAW/Protect, all of which are supported by evidence, and because they continue to break those promises.

The public need Whistleblowers. And Whistleblowers need more than just vague ‘lip service’ and blatant dishonesty from the likes of Protect and The FCA.

My report in response to the ‘Silence in the City 2’ Report by ‘Protect’ (Formerly PCAW (Public Concern At Work)

  1. ‘Silence in the City 2’s’ Foreword from Protect

1.1. A persistent question and concern I have throughout this report, is quite what Protect (Formerly PCAW (Public Concern At Work)) were expecting the findings of this study to show. 

1.2. Nowhere is this more evident than in this Foreword by Elizabeth Gardiner, the new CEO of Protect, where she states that “we were shocked to find that still 7 in 10 of those raising concerns were victimised for doing so”.

1.3. Why the shock? There has certainly been no discernible evidence in recent years, since the new FCA rules were introduced in 2016, that the reality for whistleblowers has improved. Indeed, her own opening statement confirms that “our advice line calls are growing annually”. Did this not suggest to Protect that things were far from improving? 

1.4. The growth in calls to their hotline, whilst at the same time expressing shock at these findings, demonstrates the persistent thread of contradiction throughout this report, and the inability to interpret either the patterns they were seeing on the coal face since 2016, or the results of this study.

1.5. Protect and PCaW as they were formerly called, have often been criticised for what many see as a ‘conflicted’ relationship with the large financial firms, and this report rather reaffirms these concerns. Nowhere is this relationship more confused than in this foreword, whereby Gardiner confirms that “we work with many financial services employers who understand the value of whistleblowing and strive for best practice in this area”, whilst in the same breath listing multiple failings by these firms including:

a) “So many whistleblowers continue to be ignored”

b) “Managers, chief executives and boards need to be the drivers of change”

c) “many whistleblowers were reporting on systemic and organisation-wide problems”

d) Over half of whistleblowers (58%) said their reports of victimisation (after having blown the whistle) were also ignored by their employer”

1.6. If you are the organisation working so closely with these firms, and have been for many years, how are these failings possible? Does Protect not have to accept some responsibility for this? What training are you providing? What message are you delivering to these employers? And why were you not aware until now of any of the above?

1.7. I have been very vocal since my Employment Tribunal judgement in December 2015, and evidence that I have published demonstrates that I repeatedly raised concerns with Protect (and the FCA) from early 2016 following my judgement, repeatedly warned Protect and the FCA of failings within the system, and particularly significant failings within the model whistleblower policy of PCAW & Protect, upon which all of these large firm whistleblower policies are based.

1.8. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the PCAW/Protect model whistleblower policy is a fraud against the UK workforce. 

1.9. My warnings included that employees were being encouraged and misled in to coming forward under the illusion of protection, when Protect and the employer knew that they had no protection.

1.10. I have included the email exchanges with PCAW (Now Protect) in Appendix B at the end of this report, demonstrating my raising of these concerns and making these warnings. However, below are extracts from my email to the CEO of PCAW/Protect, dated 24th February 2017, following her extraordinary statements:

I really do not believe the problem is as complex as you believe it to be. The complexity exists as a result of the failure to ensure that Whistleblower Policies are consistent with case law and do offer the protection that they claim to.

After all, a Whistleblower Policy is, first and foremost, there to help and to protect the individual that finds themselves in a position where they feel the need to, or are obliged/forced, to blow the whistle. 

Whereas you claim that the law is not and should not be the driving force behind whistleblower policies. That is, frankly, appalling!

A policy that is there to ensure the rights of employees are protected MUST have, as its entire premise, the law and specifically case law as its foundation. Without it, there is no protection for employees and all it does is serve the interests of the firms that can then screw their employees whilst knowing absolutely, as Lloyds clearly did, that they have a guaranteed victory should it come to tribunal.

In EVERY case where an employee’s rights are breached, they will need to call upon the legal system to resolve, and in the legal system, correct me if I am wrong, the law and case law is everything, so your model policy ensures that they are screwed when they do, and were screwed before they even made their disclosure.

Your approach and understanding appears to be to provide comfort and encouragement to such people so that they come forward, and without regard for their wellbeing if they do.

This is utterly wrong. 

This is knowingly creating the illusion to millions of employees that they have protection if they follow these policies as written, which most will do rather than call for advice, because these policies:

– State that they are consistent with relevant law

– State that employees have protection by law against retaliation or other detriment

– State clearly how they should blow the whistle so as to ensure said protection.

The Lloyds policy is based upon your model policy and was devised with significant input from PCAW.

Why would you call for advice when the policies are so explicit.

FYI though, when I did call and explain the disclosures that I had made, PCAW accepted that I had made protected disclosures. Never once did you dispute or warn me otherwise. 

You claim that PCAW has developed this approach over a number of years. Well, this years of experience will mean that you know the position every employee is put in when they witness or suspect wrongdoing. It’s a LOSE/LOSE:

– Stay quiet and don’t speak up, then face the consequences if it is discovered that you knew and said nothing

or

– Speak up and risk retaliation or detriment in numerous ways be it direct and obvious retaliation, discreet but sinister retaliation and victimisation and your alienation within the work place if indeed you manage to retain your job.

Every employee that blows the whistle faces the very real prospect of losing everything as you well know. So, your policy MUST first and foremost protect that employee and mitigate against EVERY possible detriment that they might suffer, and if it has to be legalistic then so be it.

Your model policy is misleading millions of employees and leaving them vulnerable. However, worst of all is that they will trust the policy because of PCAW’s supposed standing in respect to whistleblower law, and therefore you are knowingly leading them down the path whereby they will, without knowing it, be gambling their entire livelihood and the futures of their family and with little or no chance of justice should they need to avail themselves of the legal system.

The policy doesn’t have to tell you how to sue if you suffer detriment, but it should tell you precisely what to do according to case law so that in the event that you do have to sue, you have not already prejudiced your case and guaranteed a defeat!!

1.11. The findings in ‘Silence and the City 2’ are consistent with those warnings. A higher number of employees trusting their employer and their employer’s internal procedures, but leading to 70% of those that did come forward suffering damage and victimisation for having done so.

1.12. Also consistent with those warnings is the employer ignoring 58% of their reports of victimisation for having blown the whistle.

1.13. When the employer knows, as they all do, that they are training their employees to blow the whistle in a way that is entirely inconsistent with Tribunal case law, the employer knows that it has nothing to fear if the whistleblower is victimised and subsequently takes their claim to the Employment Tribunal.

(Please see Appendix A at the end of this report for the case law and the Lloyds whisltleblower policy based upon the PCAW/Protect model whistleblower policy)

The FCA also party to the same concealment of these whistleblower policy ‘flaws’

1.14. It would be remiss of me to heap all blame on PCAW/Protect for ignoring the clear and evident flaws within the PCAW/Protect model whistleblower policy and therefore the policies of countless FCA regulated firms.

1.15. Indeed, immediately after my Tribunal judgment that exposed these flaws and knowingly misleading representations within these policies, I first raised the issues with the FCA.

1.16. The FCA whistleblower team arranged a meeting with me, the whistleblower team and senior managers from the FCA’s Lloyds Bank Supervisory team, at their offices on March 18th 2016.

1.17. Prior to that meeting, I sent an email in which I clarified the specific issues and concerns that I had been raising with the FCA as a result of my Tribunal judgement, and that were to be discussed at that meeting.

1.18. Internal FCA emails that I obtained confirm the meeting is to take place.

(Email dated March 2nd 2016 from the whistleblower team to Senior FCA Counsel Greg Choyce confirming they had agreed to the meeting, and what my concerns were)

(Email dated March 9th 2016 confirming the scheduled meeting. Please note Jane Attwood, Head of FCA Intelligence and former Lloyds Bank Director is copied, despite FCA still maintaining that she had no involvement with, or awareness & oversight of, my disclosures and my complaints against the FCA.)

1.19. Below is my email sent the day prior to the meeting to clarify the issues and agenda for the meeting.

From: Paul Carlier <paul.carlier@live.co.uk>

Subject: Re: IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT

Date: 17 March 2016 at 13:45:21 GMT

To: Whistle <Whistle@fca.org.uk>

Hi John,

Thanks for that. 

I would like to add to that list:

– The conduct of the authorised and regulated entity and it’s authorised regulated employees throughout these proceedings.

Irrespective of what was being contested and in which forum, in this case the Tribunal, this firm and these employees MUST as demanded by the FCA, act with professionalism, integrity, competence and honesty at all times. 

Let us further not forget that issues pursuant to this proceedings were ALL relevant to FCA scope. I.E. The conduct that I disclosed, the management of those ‘whitewash’ whistleblower and grievance investigations (FCA words not mine), the lies and false representations in respect to the issues being investigated, the lies and false representations in respect to my redundancy and redundancy process, the flagrant abuse of their position and their outrageous and unlawful witholding of vital information in breach of the fraud act and data protection act.

– The Lloyds whistleblower policy itself and the fact that it:

a) Misleads all employees by stating that it is consistent with all applicable laws (PIDA is the only applicable)

b) Misleads all employees by stating that they are afforded protection under said policy

c) Misleads all employees by detailing precisely what employees are obliged to do; Simply ‘Raise a concern’ if you see conduct that breaches UK laws, regulatory codes or Lloyds own policies

d) Misleads all employees by stating that it is sufficient to raise these concerns with your line manager or other senior manager

I followed this to the letter as I was trained by Lloyds to do.

They then argued, only in the closing arguments rather than during the hearing so that it could not be contested by me, and produced precedent after precedent to support, that my disclosures were not protected disclosures in the first instance because I had not made them in the correct fashion, or had not made specific enough allegations etc etc.

Essentially, they trained me to blow the whistle in a manner that they knew was NOT consistent with all applicable laws, that they knew did NOT afford any protection to employees whatsoever, and that they knew would guarantee them a win in the event that any employee brought a whistleblower case to Tribunal or Court.

Their argument at the Tribunal was contrary to that contained in their own whistleblower policy.

Thanks

Paul

1.20. As you can see, I clearly highlight the very issues that PCAW/Protect would later ignore and conceal.

1.21. During that meeting I went in to great detail as to these issues but also explained in detail the very personal consequences that it had on me, both financially and psychologically, and also those consequences for my family.

1.22. Despite this inclusion of very personal information, the only FCA record of that meeting on or after March 18th, that was disclosed to me in response to a DSAR, is this email below from the whistleblower team to the FCA reception, confirming my attendance at their offices for this meeting.

1.23. The FCA has disclosed no other record specific to this meeting. Nothing. No record or notes as to what was discussed, including that of the most personal nature, or what they propose to do in respect to these issues raised. 

1.24. And let’s be very clear here, the concerns I raised here were all based entirely on fact, and all supported by the documentary record of my Tribunal, the evidence and the judgement.

1.25. And let’s be further clear here, these concerns I raised spelled out to the FCA, and later PCAW/Protect, what would inevitably happen, and that which has now been demonstrated to have happened, by these ‘Silence in the City 2’ findings.

1.26. The FCA and PCAW/Protect are not stupid. It is inconceivable that they did not know this would happen.

1.27. We must therefore question the integrity and the honesty of both, and ask the question what was the reason these concerns and warnings were ignored and concealed?

1.28. Protect in this study refer to the FCA handbook and the entire section 18 devoted to ‘Whistleblowing’, and specifically Rule 18.3.9. This reads:

“Link to fitness and propriety 

The FCA would regard as a serious matter any evidence that a firm had acted to the detriment of a whistleblower. Such evidence could call into question the fitness and propriety of the firm or relevant members of its staff, and could therefore, if relevant, affect the firm’s continuing satisfaction of threshold condition 5 (Suitability) or, for an approved person or a certification employee, their status as such.”

1.29. This section and the findings within this study raise a further question that must be posed to the FCA;

The ‘Silence in the City 2’ findings clearly show a disturbing pattern of abuse of whistleblowers by large and regulated firms between 2016 and 2020, and that there are clear and unequivocal FCA rules in place to prohibit this. How therefore does the FCA account for the fact that they have failed to take ANY action against ANY large firms for this ritual abuse?

2. Silence in the City 2’sForeword from Slater & Gordon lawyers

2.1. S&G also claim that it is a ‘positive’ that more finance sector workers are coming forward. I imagine that the 70% that were victimised and damaged, would likely disagree with that.

2.2. Once again, it’s a concern that these findings would be referred to as “a mystery”. Time and again financial sector whistleblowers expose the fact that their employers compliance, control and whistleblower functions are little more than box ticking exercises.

2.3. I raised these concerns, and John Banerjee’s whistleblower case focused on exactly this type of disclosure. A case that Banerjee won, and in so doing, exposed persistent victimisation by his employer (Royal Bank of Canada) before, during and even since his Tribunal victory.

2.4. The promises of Lloyds of London referred to in the study, whereby they have “vowed to get things right”, is sadly reminiscent of the many and repeated assurances from banks and large firms, before and after the next exposure of similar failings.

3. ‘Silence in the City 2’s’ – ‘Executive Summary’

3.1. Under ‘Methodology’ it would have been helpful to have understood how the 352 cases were identified and selected. 

3.2. Furthermore, the sample size is simply too small. This means that only a small number of cases can cause a significant shift in some of the metrics being monitored here. I.E. When breaking down the findings in to four subsets as with the “time of service”, it only needs a minor difference to create a significant % shift.

3.3. Whereas, simple metrics such as ‘did the employee suffer damage? Yes or No?’ The data is going to be more reliable. Albeit the sample should have been bigger, and a selection methodology explained.

3.4. Once again, however, here we find contradiction. Protect confirm that they had “developed a code book of key trends and themes in the case notes to paint a picture detailing the lived experience of whistleblowers journeys in the financial sector”, yet they are shocked by the findings of this review. If PCAW/Protect have their finger on the pulse and understand the ‘lived experience’ of whistleblowers, they cannot be ‘shocked’ by these findings.

3.5. It would be therefore helpful to understand:

a) What key trends and themes Protect were focusing on and recording? 

b) Why Protect failed to identify the clear trends and patterns revealed by this report? 

c) What were Protect’s own conclusions or interpretations from their code book notes?

d) What were Protect doing with this information?

3.6. The summary presents two ‘Positive Findings’. However, both are demonstrative of employees putting more faith and trust in their employers ‘internal whistleblowing arrangements’. So much so, according to the second ‘positive’, that employees were prepared to raise their concern a second time.

3.7. Again, it’s a stretch to consider either as a ‘positive’. Not to the employees that put their trust in the system only to be damaged and victimised for doing so.

3.8. Furthermore, why is it a positive that employees are choosing to raise their concerns with the firm, when the firm is naturally conflicted, and where there will always be a conflict?

3.9. Countless UK laws and codes exist to counter ‘conflicts of interest’, and across all industries and sectors. They exist because ‘conflict’ is a key driver in a parties behaviour, response to, or handling of an issue. 

3.10. In whistleblowing, this conflict will always exist. It is never going to go away. Indeed, the incredibly high level of victimisation exposed by this report is further proof that the conflict continues to flourish and continues to drive the employer’s actions.

3.11. The ‘Negatives’ listed and already mentioned in this review, are all the evidence needed to prove that whistleblowing processes must be taken away from the employers and managed via an independent body.

3.12. However, Protect’s conclusion is there is “Room for improvement”. Since the Financial Crisis unprecedented attention has been focused on whistleblowing, and yet there has been no improvement. In fact, the current situation is worse. Previously, employees knew they had no protection, whereas now they have the illusion of protection.

3.13. The independent ‘Whistleblower Champion’ role was introduced with much fanfare and was going to be the gamechanger for whistleblowers. The Banerjee case revealed that the RBC Whistleblower Champion, was in fact taking specific directions from RBC HR.

3.14. Given the findings of this report, have the Whistleblower Champions at these various firms been scrutinised or challenged as to how this level of victimisation and damage has been allowed to occur?

3.15. With an Independent Whistleblower Champion in place, there should be zero cases of victimisation and damage. This is clearly not the case. Yet nobody appears to be investigating this.

“Room for Improvement”

3.16. Protect state that improvements “should take the form of training for managers handling concerns”.

3.17. Whereas, the reality is that Banks have had mandatory whistleblower training modules for all employees since the financial crisis. Furthermore, Banks have had separate and additional mandatory training modules in place since the financial crisis for managers that are specific to ‘recognising and handling whistleblower disclosures’.

3.18. And let’s not forget that PCAW/Protect boast that they provide training and resources to these banks and large firms, their ‘clients’. And yet, here we are with clear evidence that whatever ‘training’ that PCAW/Protect are providing to their ‘clients’ is not working, and countless employees are suffering as a result.

3.19. The training is not the issue. A major issue, if not the most important issue, is that employees are being trained to blow the whistle in a way that is not consistent with case law. 

3.20. In turn, the law as it stands it not necessarily the issue, it is the case law that has ‘bastardised’ PIDA and interpretations to the point where the case law almost contradicts PIDA in terms of what constitutes a ‘Protected’ disclosure, and certainly contradicts PCAW/Protect and Bank whistleblower policies.

3.21. There are two thresholds that any employee has to meet so as to bring a successful whistleblower claim:

1. First prove that their disclosures are indeed ‘protected’

2. Prove that the reason for dismissal was the act of making these disclosures.

3.21.1. The Protect model whistleblower policy and firm’s policies tell the employee that they are consistent with all relevant law, and tell the employee that they have protection, but then train employees to blow the whistle in a specific way that is NOT consistent with the way in which case law determines it MUST be made so as to be considered ‘protected’.

3.21.2. Therefore, there is an unprecedented faith in the system and an unprecedented belief that protection exists, but the faith is based upon an illusion and representations that are misleading and/or false.

3.21.3. And, disturbingly, employers know them to be misleading and/or false. Indeed, at the Employment Tribunal it is the firms that introduce this case law to defend claims. Case law that means they were essentially arguing that their whistleblower policy was a fraud. But case law that wins the day for them.

3.21.4. All of this means, that any employee that follows the policy in terms of ‘how to blow the whistle,’ has zero chance to prove the first threshold, meaning they are denied the chance to prove the second.

3.21.5. All of which means that the employee has no protection and has lost even before they blow the whistle, and the employee and their families will suffer the dire and distressing consequences that will follow.

3.22. Protect are also aware of this. However, PCAW/Protect’s extraordinary position is that they wished to keep the whistleblower policy “deliberately non-legalistic” and so as “to encourage employees to come forward”. 

3.23. These findings were therefore inevitable, and I made that very clear to PCAW/Protect back in 2017 as you have seen earlier in this report.

3.24. This report also talks of introducing ‘a positive duty on employers to prevent victimisation’, and the introduction of other safeguards that the employer would be responsible for.

3.25. By way of PIDA, FCA rules, Whistleblower Champions etc. is there not already sufficient obligations that are ‘employer’ centric? Yet still employees suffer the same victimisation and damage?

3.26. All of the suggested ‘improvements’ rely on the employer. Whereas all of the evidence suggests that no matter how many such obligations you impose on the conflicted employer, there is no improvement.

3.27. How is it that this clear and obvious pattern has been ‘overlooked’?

3.28. Indeed, if employers have the stated ‘zero tolerance’ of wrongdoing and are determined to protect employees who speak up, why is it that no whistleblower is able to find employment again within the financial industry? 

3.29. If these statements were true, every whistleblower would be at the top of many recruitment lists, would they not?

4. ‘Silence in the City 2’ Chapter 1 – Who are the financial services whistlleblowers?

4.1. The most disturbing statistic in this chapter is the growth from 7% to 12% of whistleblowers from the ‘Compliance, Risk & Fraud Specialist’ category. Albeit that this is still within margin of error. This segment should show 0% of employees needing to contact Protect.

4.2. To be clear this is the segment that contains the experts in wrongdoing of all kinds. If persons with this expertise are raising concerns, then it is hard to argue that the concerns and disclosures are not entirely with good reason, and if they are having to contact Protect for advice, there is something seriously wrong with the internal processes.

4.3. The report doesn’t say how many of the 12% from this sector suffered victimisation or damage. However, given that their disclosures are the most likely to be accurate and well founded, if any were subject to victimisation or damage, it would rather suggest that the employer was taking an intentional course of action with intent to conceal their disclosures and the conduct involved.

4.4. A further concern is the drop from 7% to 3% in reports from Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s). IFA’s are an interesting category, and potentially the most conflicted, given that they typically receive incomes from the firms whose products they recommend to clients. 

4.4.1. Does the dependency on revenue have anything to do with the drop, or possibly the fact that the new FCA rules didn’t extend any additional comfort for IFA’s?

4.4.2. It is worth referencing that IFA’s have generally faired very poorly when reporting concerns, including when reporting to the FCA. Time and again, IFA’s have reported wrongdoing to the FCA, and their concerns to have been proven well founded at a later date, but for the FCA to have ignored their concerns when they reported them, or even retaliated against them and sought to abuse and smear them. 

4.5. The length of service data and conclusions, like most of the data and findings, does not appear to be far beyond any ‘margin of error’ you would expect with such a small sample size. 

4.6. Protect’s interpretations or ‘understanding’ of these results include the suggestion that a doubling of the % of whistleblowers from the segment that had worked there for 2-5 years, was down to whistleblower training that had been “rolled out to all staff”.

4.6.1. I don’t know how that conclusion is reached given that whistleblower training has been mandatory and annual for most banks and large firms since the financial crisis of 2008.

4.6.2. Protect don’t acknowledge the fact that employees are increasingly aware that until they have two years service with the firm, that they do not have all of the protections they would have if they have been at the firm for more than two years.

4.6.3. Protect do not appear to connect the delays in many reporting their concerns, with this significant two years of service milestone, and greater rights.

4.6.4. Protect also determine that anyone reporting their concern within six months for one group and define this as employees that ‘acted promptly’. Whereas, I would define someone acting promptly as someone that reported the concern after less than one month, and have a further subset of 1-6 months. 

4.6.5. In Chapter 2 they do actually break this data down in to exactly those subsets (One month or less and 1-6 Months), and it shows that only 20% reported their concerns within one month. That raises a flag for me.

4.6.6. Someone reporting a concern within one month is reacting promptly and how you would hope most employees would react.

4.6.7. WHEREAS, someone waiting between 1-6 months to report their concern, is doing so for a reason. I would then seek to understand what that reason/s were.

4.6.8. HOWEVER, also in Chapter 2 it reveals that the sample size for this metric was just 188 cases so, again, not sure how reliable these numbers are.

4.7. Where perhaps the FCA rules could have had the most significant impact is the increase from 30% to 36% of employees raising concerns about their former employer. Ironically, this is actually one metric where Protect have said this reflects ‘little change’.

4.7.1. The new FCA rules have a specific new protection included. Whereby, any person, be they employee or not, making a reportable concern to the bank, MUST be treated by the bank as a whistleblower. 

4.7.2. This is a fundamental change, and one that would explain this uptick. 

4.7.3. However, in 2020 senior managers within the FCA have represented in writing to me that any person making a reportable concern to a bank, and who MUST be treated by the bank as a whistleblower and with all applicable protection afforded under new FCA rules introduced in 2016, did not have to be treated as a whistleblower by the FCA. 

4.7.4. It would later be proven that these bizarre claims made by the FCA senior managers were in fact false, and were made so as to avoid review of significant evidence and investigate the multiple counts of wrongdoing and criminality that the evidence within these disclosures demonstrated.

5. ‘Silence in the City 2’ Chapter 2 – What wrongdoing do the whistleblowers witness?

5.1. As mentioned above, this chapter reveals the % of cases that are reported within one month, just 20%. The sample size is only 188. However, any number below 60% would represent a flag. 

5.1.1. HOWEVER, Protect see this 20% figure as a positive, and add; 

“This is a positive sign because for employers it strengthens their ability to respond to the concern: investigation should be easier because the information passed on is fresh, and as a consequence it minimises the potential for the concerns to escalate into a more serious situation”

5.1.2. The virtue and benefit of an employee reporting a concern quickly is quite correct. However, the fact that only 20% do report within a month, is far from a positive.

5.1.3. For a system to be working well, a majority of whistleblowers should be comfortable raising concerns quickly. 

5.1.4. However, Protect don’t have any details as to why employees delayed their reporting of concerns. Delaying so as to pass the two year employment milestone, as I previously suggested, could be one reason. It could also be that employees wanted to perhaps explore further and be sure of what they were reporting. We just don’t know. It has not been explored by the study.

5.1.5. Protect also did not appear to ask how many of the 20% that did report within one month suffered victimisation. If the same 70% figure applies, then the firm is clearly passing up the benefits of early reporting, making it an entirely redundant virtue.

5.2. Protect acknowledge that the fact that 78% of whistleblowers were reporting wrongdoing that was a ‘recurring issue’ is suggestive of more systemic problems, and rightly consider that this could mean many more are witnessing these issues but not coming forward.

5.3. Protect acknowledge that this could reflect a lack of trust in the system. 

5.4. This does rather contradict the positivity that Protect place upon the fact that 93% of whistleblowers were using internal processes.

5.4.1. If 93% of whistleblowers are using internal processes, but those whistleblowers that do are only representative of a small % of those that were aware of the same issues, and did not report it, this is a serious concern.

5.4.2. Obviously, it will always be difficult to determine how many are not reporting concerns. However, this would be a significant metric to know.

6. ‘Silence in the City 2’ Chapter 3 – Where do whistleblowers raise their concerns?

6.1. The table of findings is largely unchanged from the original ‘Silence in the City 1’ (SITC1) study. 

6.2. Protect largely repeat their positivity that more employees raised their concerns internally at the first and second attempts, rather than with the FCA.

6.3. However, this section has some of the more confusing and disturbing conclusions in terms of how Protect ‘Understand these findings’

6.3.1. Is the increase in % of employees reporting internally really a positive, and an indication of trust and faith in their employers processes, when the data suggests that many more are not reporting the same conduct at all?

6.3.2. Protect put the numbers of employees reporting to the FCA at the first, second and third attempts, significantly lower. However, they attribute this to more trust and faith in the internal processes, whereas, evidence and media reports would indicate that this could be explained as more of a lack of trust and faith in the FCA.

6.3.3. Protect claim that SITC1’s findings in 2012 covered a period in time when there were:

“no whistleblowing rules imposed on financial institutions: in effect there were no standards across the sector on what whistleblowing policy, training and monitoring on the whistleblower arrangements should look like, or whether it should be in place at all.”

6.3.4. Many banks had implemented whistleblower training prior to SITC1. Albeit, that they had done so more as a ‘litigation buffer’ as opposed to with intent to detect wrongdoing.

6.3.5. Protect ignore an incredibly important FSA rule that had been in place for some time and long before SITC1, namely (and I paraphrase here):

“If any employee witnesses wrongdoing, and does not report the concern, those employees will be regarded as complicit in the wrongdoing that they witnessed.”

6.3.6. In truth this rule did little more than actually ensure employees did not come forward and raise concerns. If they had not raised the concern immediately, they feared being implicated by that rule, and employees knew that raising the concern in the first instance would likely result in victimisation, so did not report the concern.

6.3.7. Having not reported this concern, the employee then knew they would be regarded as complicit if it were later discovered. This, in turn, encouraged concealment and silence ongoing, and continues to this day.

IMPORTANTLY, during my meeting with the FCA in March 2016 and in writing to the Treasury Select Committee, I highlighted the ‘gagging’ effect that this FSA/FCA rule was having, and suggested that a ‘Whistleblower Amnesty’ be introduced, whereby anyone that had been understandably too scared or concerned to speak up previously when they had witnessed wrongdoing, could now come forward and speak up free from the risk of any action taken against them. (Subject to them not having been a party to the wrongdoing)

It came as no surprise to me that the FCA and TSC ignored this proposal entirely. It rather suits both bodies to keep these witnesses gagged and their information and disclosures concealed and suppressed.

If this ‘amnesty’ was provided, the FCA know that countless bank employees will come forward and provide substantial and significant evidence that would expose the FCA’s ‘handling’ of RBS GRG, Lloyds BSU, the IRHP Review, LIBOR and FX, for the dishonest and fraudulent charades that all have been.

6.3.8. A significant finding is that the number of whistleblowers in financial services that were likely to raise their concerns a second time, was only 20% in SITC1 compared to 39% for other sectors. Protect see it as a positive that this has increased to 30% in SITC2. 

6.3.9. Whereas, I fail to see how this is a ‘positive’. If there is an increase in the number of employees having to report a concern a second time, it rather suggests that the internal processes are not sufficiently dealing with the first report.

6.4. Protect state that 93% of employees were aware of the whistleblower policy, and 87% confirmed that they had used the policy.

6.4.1. This would be a positive but for the fact that the model policy of PCAW/Protect and the whistleblower policies of all of the banks and firms that are based upon it, tells employees to blow the whistle in a way that means that their disclosures are NOT ‘protected’ and they therefore have no legal protection should they be forced to take a claim to the Employment Tribunal. 

6.4.2. Protect know this. As do employers and the FCA. I brought this to the attention of PCAW/Protect and the FCA in 2016 and 2017. My Employment Tribunal judgement in December 2015 denied me whistleblower status because I had not made my disclosures in a way in which Tribunal case law had dictated that they MUST be made for them to be ‘protected’. 

6.4.3. The criteria for a ‘Protected Disclosure’ defined by the case law was nothing like that which was included in the PCAW/Protect model, and Lloyds Bank, whistleblower policy.

6.4.4. I had followed the Lloyds Bank Whistleblower policy to the letter, only for Lloyds Bank to introduce this case law in closing arguments, and force the Judge to deny me whistleblower status as a result.

6.4.5. As mentioned earlier in this report an employee has two  hurdles in order to win a Whistleblower claim:

a) They must prove that their disclosures were ‘protected’ in the first instance

and, secondly

b) They must prove that these protected disclosures were the reason for their subsequent dismissal and damage.

6.4.6. The PCAW/Protect model whistleblower policy and those of the banks and firms that use it, ensure that no employee can clear the first of those hurdles, meaning that they are denied the opportunity even attempt to clear the second hurdle.

6.4.7. What is also abundantly clear, is that the banks and firms know this. It was after all, Lloyds Bank themselves that introduced the case law in closing arguments. Case law that essentially argued that their whistleblower policy was a fraud.

6.5. This also explains why so many firms are happy to ignore or abuse whistleblowers. They know that they are virtually guaranteed a victory at the Tribunal if an employee pursues a claim.

7. ‘Silence in the City 2’ Chapter 4 – What treatment did the whistleblowers face?

7.1. Protect do acknowledge that the figure of 70% of employees being victimised for blowing the whistle is far too high, and even though it has dropped from 77% in 2012, this is a ‘modest’ improvement.

7.2. However, and as already mentioned, the persistent nature of conduct being reported and the suggestion that many are not coming forward at all, does potentially undermine even the slight positive of this figure. 

7.3. Protect do not mention the consequential impact of the victimisation of an employee, on the remainder of the workforce. If employees see a whistleblower being abused or victimised, they are going to be less likely to report any concerns themselves.

7.4. The fact that 58% of whistleblowers that reported the abuse or victimisation had these reports completely ignored is disturbing but of no real surprise to anyone that has been a whistleblower.

7.5. Again, I have to challenge Protect’s ‘understandings’ of these findings. Particularly:

“These figures may indicate that firms are struggling to deal with reports on the ground: our data shows that the vast majority raise these incidents, so reporting levels may be high though as this is a new variable we can not say whether this is an improved rate. But it indicates the problems is less about reporting levels and more to do with a lack of response from the employer. The data doesn’t tell us what the blockage might be however – whether it was a communication problem, or whether there have been problems in HR practices.”

7.5.1. Protect entirely ignore the fact that banks and firms could be acting deliberately and with intent. You only have to review the Banerjee case, the evidence and the findings, to see an ‘end to end’process, designed to victimise and conceal. From line managers, to senior managers, to HR and the Whistleblower Champion, and extending to their in-house legal team and the external counsel they instructed.

7.5.2. Indeed, the same was true of my experience and those of countless others.

7.5.3. Instead, Protect ‘assume’ that the reason is that firms are struggling to deal with reports on the ground, and use that assumption to dictate both their understandings and solutions.

7.5.4. The problem is not likely to be a ‘blockage’. The reality is that every time an employee ‘blows the whistle’, a person or persons within that firm is exposed. Equally, the firm could also be exposed, and ultimately so could the regulator.

7.5.5. These are natural and automatic conflicts and realities, but these are excluded from this report.

7.6. Protect suggest as a solution:

This data highlights to regulators and policy makers the need to create positive duty on employers to protect whistleblowers by taking all reasonable steps to prevent detrimental treatment.”

7.6.1. Adding that:

“The current protection for whistleblowers in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) makes the victimisation of a whistleblower unlawful, giving them an action at tribunal if they are victimised.”

7.6.2. There is no need for a new ‘positive duty’ to be introduced. PIDA is actually quite adequate as written in terms of providing the protection for employees. 

7.6.3. HOWEVER, where the whistleblower policies of PCAW/Protect and the banks & firms, is not consistent with the relevant case law, employees are denied the protection that already exists.

7.6.4. And when there is substantial evidence to demonstrate that the FCA will not only ignore whistleblowers and their reports, but also abuse them or fail to protect them, it is again demonstrative of the fact that it is not necessarily the rules or law that is failing, but rather the significant ‘conflicts’ that exist and which drives the conduct of those firms and regulators that are choosing not to abide by their obligations, or actively finding ways to circumvent them.

8. ‘Silence in the City 2’ Chapter 5 – What action was taken on the concerns?

8.1. The lack of feedback to whistleblowers is a significant issue, but that significance appears not to have been understood here by Protect. 

8.2. The banks and firms, and the FCA all adopt a policy of not providing feedback or information to the whistleblower in respect to what they have done with their reports of concerns.

8.3. This means that a whistleblower will not know if their concerns are being dealt with or are being ignored. This creates time related issues, especially for whistleblowers where there is a key three month time limitation. If the employer ‘sits on’ the report for three months and then engineers a dismissal of the whistleblower, this creates problems for the whistleblower when trying to associate the dismissal with the reporting of concerns.

8.4. Furthermore, the lack of feedback by the firm or FCA, ensures that concealment can occur, particularly where the firm and/or FCA is exposed. Concealment that can only adversely prejudice or damage a case being brought by a whistleblower.

9. Silence in the City 2’Conclusions

9.1. There is a disturbing naivety or ignorance in the conclusions within Silence in the City 2. Conclusions that are rather cherry picked and ‘engineered’ to fit a desired narrative. A narrative that seeks to conceal Protect’s own failings, the failings of the banks and firms (clients of Protect), that they have ‘trained’ and The FCA.

9.2. There is once again a failure to reference any potential conflicts or deliberate intent on behalf of the employers.

9.3. The naivety and ignorance is further exposed when failing to understand that regulators, particularly The FCA, are often part of the problem, and do not lack appetite or willingness to conceal evidence, and victimise, smear and attack whistleblowers if they, the regulator, are also exposed.

9.4. The term ‘disclosure’ is one that means transparency and publication of information. However, firms and the FCA adopt practises that ensure non-disclosure and concealment at every turn. 

9.5. Where the process and protections for whistleblowers rely entirely on firms and regulators that are always potentially exposed by the disclosure and therefore conflicted, there is always going to be victimisation and abuse of whistleblowers and the risk thereof.

9.6. Yet Protect fail to recognise any of this.

9.7. However, perhaps just as disturbing a statement by Protect within their conclusions is:

“There is much to learn from whistleblowers’ own feedback on their experience of the system too – they may have valuable insights into where problems lie.“

9.8. For the record and avoidance of doubt:

a) Protect do not have any whistleblowers within their organisation or on their board.

b) Protect ‘cherry pick’ the whistleblowers that they engage with.

c) Protect have unlawfully engaged in detrimental actions against whistleblowers that have followed the Protect mantra; “Speak up. Stop Harm”, and raised concerns as to PCAW/Protect’s own failings. That mantra clearly only applies in the event that Protect are not the subject of the disclosures being made.

9.9. Protect have ignored me, a whistleblower, for four years that reported concerns to them about the failings of their approach and whistleblower policy, and the warnings as to the consequences of this for all employees, all of which are borne out by the findings of this report. However, Protect did not stop there.

I will be producing a further article dedicated to what happened in 2020 when I applied for the vacant CEO role at Protect. It exposes a blatant dishonesty by Protect, it’s CEO, it’s chairman and a trustee.

APPENDIX A – The Disparity between Tribunal case law and the Lloyds Banking Group whistleblower policy and PCAW/Protect model whistleblower policy upon which it was based.

  1. Before proceeding, it is beneficial if I highlight the case law I’m referring to, and how it conflicts with the PCAW/Protect and Lloyds Banking Group whistleblower policy.
  1. Below are the extracts from my Tribunal judgement that are specific to the case law introduced by Lloyds in closing arguments, and with intent to deny me whistleblower status.
  1. As you can see, the case law above defines how a disclosure must be made, and the multiple criteria that a disclosure must have for it to be ‘protected’. 
  1. WHEREAS, the Lloyds Banking Group whistleblower policy and PCAW/Protect model whistleblower policy upon which it was based stated the following: 

1.16.1. 

2.2 Training and Communication

2.2.1 Line Management Responsibilities
Line management must ensure all colleagues have an appropriate level of awareness for reporting suspected wrongdoing through the annual completion of the mandatory Whistleblowing training.  New colleagues must complete the training as part of their induction. 

2.2.2 Whistleblowing Posters
The Whistleblowing poster must be displayed in each business location (iNeed code C05/273A).

1.16.1. The whistleblower policy says all the right things, and makes all the right noises, but is little more than lip service and box ticking in reality.

1.16.2. The key extracts from the Lloyds Bank Whistleblower Policy are as follows:

To support the Group’s vision of being the best bank for customers it is essential that everything we do, at an individual level and as an organisation, is consistent with our Values and complies with all relevant laws and regulations as well as our internal Policies and Procedures.

1.16.3. As you can see, the opening paragraph of the Lloyds whistleblower policy states that it complies with all relevant laws and regulations. There is an immediate implication of legal protection for the employee.

Colleagues must feel able to report their concerns about any activities or behaviour where they believe that these standards may not have been met.

The Group Whistleblowing Policy assists the Group to build and maintain an open culture where all colleagues feel able to report any wrongdoing, safe in the knowledge that their concerns will be investigated promptly and effectively, and that they will not suffer any detriment as a result.

1.16.4.  The paragraphs provide what appears to be a strong affirmation that the bank will protect employees from detriment, and that all concerns will be investigated promptly and effectively.

1.16.5. The following passage affirms that the policy conforms to standards set by the FCA.

The Policy is also necessary to meet the expectations of the financial services regulator in relation to the appropriateness of the Group’s internal arrangements for handling colleagues’ concerns 

            1.16.6. I draw your attention to the repetitive use of the term ‘raising concerns’. 

              1.16.7. This is incredibly important against the backdrop of this policy versus the judgement.

The single most IMPORTANT part of the whistleblower policy, however, is the following, and particularly paragraph 2.1.2, that tells the employees how they should make their disclosures so as to ensure they are protected.

2.1.1 Colleague Expectations
All colleagues are expected to raise concerns about wrongdoing of which they are aware and to report any information they have in relation to any activity which does not appear to be consistent with the Group’s Values or compliant with all relevant laws, regulations and our internal Policies and Procedures.

2.1.2 Reporting Concerns
Colleagues should report a concern about wrongdoing or malpractice to line management in the first instance.  Where a colleague feels unable to approach management or more senior management within the same business line, a concern can be reported to the Group Whistleblowing Line on a confidential basis. 

As you can see, paragraph 2.1.2. that tells employees how to make their disclosures so that they are ‘protected’, is a blatant far cry from the way in which the Tribunal case law demands they are made.

APPENDIX B – Email exchanges with PCAW in 2017

From: Paul Carlier <paul.carlier@live.co.uk>

Subject: Lloyds Whistleblower Policy 2014

Date: 10 January 2017 at 09:51:01 GMT

To: xxxxx xxxxx <xx@pcaw.org.uk>

Hi xxxxxxx,

I understand that PCAW approved or signed off on the Lloyds Bank Whistleblower Policy circa 2014.

I further understand that this was a standard ‘template’ whilstleblower policy agreed after consultation between firms and PCAW?

I’m trying to establish facts and timelines regarding this and whistleblower policies generally in light of evolving rules and codes in recent years.

Thanks

Paul

On 10 Jan 2017, at 10:45, xxxxx xxxxx xx@pcaw.org.uk wrote:

Hi Paul


I have attached our model policy, the principles and wording of which have remained the same for many years. The language used is deliberately non-legalistic but is in compliance with the law. Many organisations have amended it to suit their own models over the years. We don’t have ‘sign off’ on any organisations own policy.

I am happy to talk through the general principles of the policy, but cannot provide specifics of confidential advice we have given to any of our clients.

Thanks,

Xxxxx xxxxx
Trainee Solicitor

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From: Paul Carlier <paul.carlier@live.co.uk>
Sent: 16 January 2017 18:43
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Lloyds Whistleblower Policy 2014

Hi xxxxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your response and provision of the model policy.

I have several concerns regarding this.

1. It is not compliant with the law at all. It might well be compliant with PIDA as written in to legislation, but it is far from consistent with case law. And it is case law that trumps all when it comes to a Court of law or the Employment Tribunal. I have learned this the hard way by way of my tribunal judgement.

2. To be deliberately non-legalistic staggers me. It is supposed to represent the law, the compliance with and upholding of, is entirely a ‘Legal’ matter, by definition it MUST be legalistic. Whilst it does not neccessarily have to be framed in legal jargon, what is written must reflect the legal requirements.

FOR EXAMPLE: 

It is not difficult to explain in said policy that which you must do, and this which your disclosure must specify and contain as determined by case law to ensure protection by PIDA. One paragraph was all that is required. Simply saying that you must ‘raise a concern’ is utterly inadequate and actually false in respect to case law.

3. Lloyds Whistleblower Policy adopts the same framework as your model and reccommended policy. Given PCAW’s prominence in the UK in respect to whistleblowing I imagine that numerous others do the same. 

4. Your model policy states:

Please remember that you do not need to have firm evidence of malpractice before raising a concern.  However we do ask that you explain as fully as you can the information or circumstances that gave rise to your concern.

That is not what the Judge at my Employment Tribunal ruled. 

I followed the Lloyds Whistleblower Policy to the letter. A policy that is based upon your model policy. A policy that states it is consistent with applicable law (the only one is PIDA). A policy that tells employees what their obligations are. A policy that tells employees how they should blow the whistle; namely ‘Raise a concern with your line manager or other senior manager…’. I did exactly that.

Yet the Judge ruled that NONE, I repeat ‘NONE’ of my disclosures qualified as protected disclosures as a result of the case law precedents that Lloyds themslves raised in closing arguments.

They argued that I had not blown the whistle correctly. They effectively argued that their own policy was garbage and a fraud. 

The principle of the policy should be to ensure that all employees subject to these policies receive the proper protection that PIDA is supposed to offer.

All this policy does is:

a) Mislead employees in to believing that they have any protection by law

and

b) Guarantee the employers that use this model a victory in Court or at the ET should an employee dare to blow the whistle and get screwed by their employer as a result.

Regards

Paul Carlier

From: xxxxx xxxxx xx@pcaw.org.uk
Sent: 24 January 2017 16:56
To: Paul Carlier
Subject: Re: Lloyds Whistleblower Policy 2014

Hi Paul

My apologies for the delay in coming back to you, I was out of the office much of last week.

I will make our Chief Executive aware of your feedback in relation to our model policy. 


Regards

Xxxxx xxxxx
Trainee Solicitor

Cathy James, CEO of PCAW, finally responds on February 24th 2017.

From: Cathy James <cj@pcaw.org.uk>
Date: 24 February 2017 at 09:27:17 GMT
To: <paul.carlier@jupiter87.com>
Cc: xxxxxxxxxxxx <xxxxxx@pcaw.org.uk>
Subject: Fwd: Re: Lloyds Whistleblower Policy 2014

Dear Mr Carlier,

My apologies for the delay in responding to this email.  As explained by Catherine, we have considered the points raised in your email.  

As you are aware we work very hard with staff and businesses to try to ensure that public interest concerns are raised effectively and handled in such a way that the individual is not treated badly in the process. Our model policy is a fundamental part of this approach, it is a document aimed at staff to inform them about how to raise concerns simply and effectively. It should also set out how a concern is to be handled and make assurances from the organisation about taking the concern seriously, protecting confidentiality where requested and taking a zero-tolerance approach to reprisals. 

This is a widely accepted approach across HR policies – eg. an equality policy does not set out in detail how an individual can sue for discrimination, rather it is a commitment from the organisation to treat staff fairly.  The same principle applies with a whistleblowing policy.

Our work in ensuring whistleblowing works means that the law (which is a mechanism for seeking compensation when things have gone wrong) is not the driving force for the messaging in the  model policy. It is a complex piece of legislation to explain well in one document and an anxious whistleblower could easily be put off by an overly legalistic policy, meaning a culture of silence prevails. And please bear in mind that we encourage every policy to clearly include us as an early source of advice, at which point one of our legally trained advisers could explain PIDA fully and how best to make a disclosure which falls within the scope of the law. 


I appreciate that this is not the approach that you consider appropriate given your experiences and you are of course entitled to your view, but we hope you will understand that our approach has been developed over a number of years and is a practical response to a complex problem.

I would be happy to discuss matters with you if this is of interest.  Do contact me on the number below to discuss matter further.

Yours sincerely

Cathy James
Chief Executive

From: Paul Carlier <paul.carlier@live.co.uk>

Subject: Re: Lloyds Whistleblower Policy 2014

Date: 24 February 2017 at 10:57:29 GMT

To: “cj@pcaw.org.uk” <cj@pcaw.org.uk>

Cc: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ms James,

I really do not believe the problem is as complex as you believe it to be. The complexity exists as a result of the failure to ensure that Whistleblower Policies are consistent with case law and do offer the protection that they claim to.

After all, a Whistleblower Policy is, first and foremost, there to help and to protect the individual that finds themselves in a position where they feel the need to, or are obliged/forced, to blow the whistle. 

Whereas you claim that the law is not and should not be the driving force behind whistleblower policies. That is, frankly, appalling!

A policy that is there to ensure the rights of employees are protected MUST have, as its entire premise, the law and specifically case law as its foundation. Without it, there is no protection for employees and all it does is serve the interests of the firms that can then screw their employees whilst knowing absolutely, as Lloyds clearly did, that they have a guaranteed victory should it come to tribunal.

In EVERY case where an employee’s rights are breached, they will need to call upon the legal system to resolve, and in the legal system, correct me if I am wrong, the law and case law is everything, so your model policy ensures that they are screwed when they do, and were screwed before they even made their disclosure.

Your approach and understanding appears to be to provide comfort and encouragement to such people so that they come forward, and without regard for their wellbeing if they do.

This is utterly wrong. 

This is knowingly creating the illusion to millions of employees that they have protection if they follow these policies as written, which most will do rather than call for advice, because these policies:

– State that they are consistent with relevant law

– State that employees have protection by law against retaliation or other detriment

– State clearly how they should blow the whistle so as to ensure said protection.

The Lloyds policy is based upon your model policy and was devised with significant input from PCAW.

Why would you call for advice when the policies are so explicit.

FYI though, when I did call and explain the disclosures that I had made, PCAW accepted that I had made protected disclosures. Never once did you dispute or warn me otherwise. 

You claim that PCAW has developed this approach over a number of years. Well, this years of experience will mean that you know the position every employee is put in when they witness or suspect wrongdoing. It’s a LOSE/LOSE:

– Stay quiet and don’t speak up, then face the consequences if it is discovered that you knew and said nothing

or

– Speak up and risk retaliation or detriment in numerous ways be it direct and obvious retaliation, discreet but sinister retaliation and victimisation and your alienation within the work place if indeed you manage to retain your job.

Every employee that blows the whistle faces the very real prospect of losing everything as you well know. So, your policy MUST first and foremost protect that employee and mitigate against EVERY possible detriment that they might suffer, and if it has to be legalistic then so be it.

Let’s not forget here, I didn’t just screwed once for blowing the whistle, I got screwed twice by successive employers, UBS and then Lloyds.

How many other trading floor whistleblowers have you come across? How many other trading floor whistleblowers have taken their case all the way to Tribunal?

None. Or perhaps you can tell me otherwise?

Or perhaps you can tell me how many firms have bullied whistleblowers in to accepting a garbage settlement or a drop hands proposal by way of cost leverage or other tactic?

Or perhaps how many whistleblowers were able to find work within the same industry that they blew the whistle?

Or perhaps you can tell me what the average earnings of whistleblowers in the 5 years after blowing the whistle relative to their earnings the year prior to them blowing the whistle?

My case represents a 100% fail rate for your model policy. Not good enough, particularly given that trading floors are the single most dangerous environment for financial risk and wrongdoing as proven by the global economic collapse of 2007-09, all of which it is recognised could have been avoided had whistleblowers been listened to.

Your model policy is misleading millions of employees and leaving them vulnerable. However, worst of all is that they will trust the policy because of PCAW’s supposed standing in respect to whistleblower law, and therefore you are knowingly leading them down the path whereby they will, without knowing it, be gambling their entire livelihood and the futures of their family and with little or no chance of justice should they need to avail themselves of the legal system.

The policy doesn’t have to tell you how to sue if you suffer detriment, but it should tell you precisely what to do according to case law so that in the event that you do have to sue, you have not already prejudiced your case and guaranteed a defeat!!

Finally, can you please advise just what action you have taken against Lloyds or what discussion that you have had with Lloyds over my case and their treatment of me as a whistleblower?

Let’s not forget that Lloyds themselves, via their whistleblower and Group Fraud teams, identified several concerns that I had raised prior to my redundancy that they believed quaalified for investigation by the Group Fraud team. IN SO DOING THEY CONFIRMED THAT THESE WERE PROTECTED DISCLOSURES. 

Only for Lloyds to then argue in closing arguments only that my disclosures were not protected because I had not made them in the correct way (DESPITE FOLLOWING THEIR POLICY TO THE LETTER) according to case law.

I trust that you have addressed their wrongdoing in this respect?

Paul Carlier

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