Both Wall Street and Its Regulators Fire Whistleblowers


by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, wallstreetonparade:

According to continuing reports from the trenches, buttressed by a Bloomberg News article out today by Neil Weinberg, Wall Street’s largest firms are still firing whistleblowers for having the temerity to bring corrupt conduct to their superiors’ attention — despite whistleblower protection statutes embedded in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

One Dodd-Frank provision expressly prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers and provides whistleblowers legal remedies if they are discharged or retaliated against. Another section provides potentially hefty awards through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if the whistleblower provides original information leading to a successful enforcement action that results in sanctions of over $1 million.

Just this past April, the Board of Barclays, a big player on Wall Street, had to admit that it had hired an outside law firm to investigate its own CEO’s handling of a whistleblower. At the time, Jes Staley had been CEO of Barclays for just 15 months but had formerly spent three decades in executive positions at America’s largest Wall Street bank – JPMorgan Chase. According to the official statement released by Barclays, Staley had gone on the hunt to root out the identity of an internal whistleblower who had sent anonymous letters regarding a colleague. Staley had the audacity to use both an internal security group at the bank and U.S. law enforcement in his effort to unmask the whistleblower. Staley was not fired for his conduct – he was simply given a written reprimand by the Board and had his bonus cut.

Barclays pled guilty in 2015 for participating in a cartel to rig foreign exchange rates in a criminal prosecution brought by the U.S. Justice Department. Citicorp, a unit of Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. also admitted to the felony charge in the same matter. All three banks have also been the subject of charges of whistleblower abuse. (The Royal Bank of Scotland also pled guilty in the same matter.) On the same day that the Justice Department brought the charges against the other four banks for rigging foreign exchange rates, it brought a felony charge for rigging the interest rate benchmark known as Libor against UBS – the mega Wall Street player that is the subject of today’s Bloomberg News article on the firing of a whistleblower.

If you are sensing there may be a connection between abuse of whistleblowers and abuse of the public trust, you’ve had an important epiphany.

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