BNP Paribas' $9bn settlement with U.S. authorities, aided by internal whistleblowers, has spurred calls for federal banking regulators to protect and reward individuals who report wrongdoing by banks.
Reuters reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has scored big enforcement successes and delivered millions of dollars in awards to whistleblowers under a programme from the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of Wall Street. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as the SEC, will provide whistleblowers with a share of fines collected.
'We have a (whistleblower) law that covers tax fraud and fraud against the government (and) commodities and securities violations, but we don’t have similar laws for banking regulators', said Jordan Thomas, head of the whistleblower representation practice at law firm Labaton Sucharow and an architect of the SEC’s programme. 'To me, that is a significant gap'.
Whistleblowers played a prominent part in the case of French bank BNP Paribas, which on June 30 pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay nearly $9bn to settle charges that it violated U.S. sanctions.
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