More than 60 RBC staff raise concerns about culture

Stressed staff have reached whistleblowing advocacy groups or the UK regulator

More than 60 present and former employees at Royal Bank of Canada have spoken up over concerns about culture and consistence at the banking group in the past two years.

People familiar with the matter told Financial News that concerned staff had either made contact with whistleblowing advocacy groups or the UK’s market regulator.

The new number shows the size of the issue for RBC, which, as indicated by a January 11 report in the Financial Times, is being investigated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority over working culture at its London investment bank: RBC Capital Markets.

The FCA launched its probe after a former RBC trader, who claimed to have been let go subsequent to raising consistence issues, won a case of unfair dismissal in the summer of 2017.

Since the former trader’s dismissal in 2016, more than 60 people across RBC’s global business have come forward with culture and compliance concerns, people familiar with the matter said.

RBC Capital Markets declined to comment on the numbers but said in a statement on January 11: “We actively promote a culture of compliance and giving employees opportunities to speak up and raise concerns without fear of retaliation.”

The FCA has not remarked on the investigation..

The regulator itself is under flame for the manner in which it handles incidents of whistleblowing. In September, FCA bosses were compelled to safeguard the treatment of the individuals who seek to raise concerns at banks and fund managers in the City of London.

Georgina Halford-Hall, the chief executive of WhistelblowersUK, who has been advising the FCA on how it treats whistleblowers, said: “We need a system where people know they can find a universal process where whistleblowers are listened to, protected and supported.”

Mary Inman, head of the international whistleblowing practice at Constantine Cannon, the law firm, said: “This RBC investigation feels like a #MeToo moment for whistleblowers. After one person stepped up, there has been a domino effect that has emboldened whistleblowers to come forward.”

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