The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced on Thursday that it has established a new “Office of the Whistleblower” to expedite the review of high-risk tips by FINRA senior staff and ensure a rapid response for tips believed to have merit. The new office will be overseen by FINRA Senior Vice President Cameron Funkhouser.
Stephen Luparello, FINRA’s Interim CEO, stated that
One of the important lessons learned from the recent scandals is the need for regulators to recognize and react to regulatory intelligence offered by whistleblowers. We want to encourage individuals with evidence of, or material information about, potentially illegal or unethical activity to come forward. This new initiative will ensure that individuals with significant information will reach senior staff, who can quickly assess the level of risk involved and make sure that each tip is properly evaluated. Those tips warranting additional review and investigation will be subject to an expedited regulatory response.
In support of the new office, FINRA has set up a toll free phone number — 1-866-96-FINRA (1-866-963-4672) — and has posted a dedicated web page — www.finra.org/whistleblower, where individuals may email their information to FINRA. Any whistleblower tips that fall outside FINRA’s jurisdictional reach will be referred to the appropriate regulatory or law enforcement agencies.