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Rewarding whistleblowers – Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor of The Economist from Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton discussing the whistleblower reward program.

Whistleblowing has increased because of the success of American whistleblower-reward programmes (“The age of the whistleblower”, December 5th). These programmes offer monetary awards, confidentiality and job protection. In 2015 British regulators failed to enhance their anti-fraud efforts in the financial industry when they decided against introducing such incentives. My law firm has been contacted by dozens of people in Britain hoping to participate in American whistleblower programmes.

In instances where their claims did not fall under American jurisdiction, every one of them chose to keep quiet rather than contact British regulators. Without the potential for financial rewards, not one was willing to risk his livelihood by stepping forward.

In the financial world, it’s all about risk versus benefit. For whistleblowers, it’s the same calculation.

ERIKA KELTON
Phillips & Cohen LLP
Washington, DC

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