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Brits top the whisteblowers list

Nov 23 2012 12:50 Reuters

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London - More than one in ten tip-offs about corporate wrongdoing received by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) came from overseas, with British whistleblowers topping the list, said a global investigations firm on Thursday.

Nearly one in four of the 324 overseas tip-offs came from Britain with Canada second and India third, according to Kroll's analysis of the annual report from the US body responsible for regulating the securities market.

Under new US regulation introduced in 2010, the SEC starting paying whistleblowers, both at home and abroad, for coming forward with information that results in successful prosecutions.

"The bounties offered to whistleblowers by the SEC are likely to have huge repercussions for companies, particularly international ones, as they mean whistleblowers based anywhere in the world are more likely to go to the regulator rather than their company," said Kroll Managing Director, Benedict Hamilton.

Britain's 74 tip-offs were well above second-placed Canada which had 46, according to data from the fiscal year 2012.

Regulators in Britain do not offer similar rewards at the moment but Kroll said Britain's Parliamentary commission on banking standards has asked the Financial Services Authority regulator to consider the move.

Data released last month showed the number of whistleblowing cases reported to the FSA were up 276% in four years.

The SEC received nearly 1 000 calls to its helpline from June 2007 to May 2008 compared to 3 733 in the same 2011 to 2012 period.
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