Topic BaFin BaFin establishes a reporting platform for whistleblowers
With effect from 2 July 2016, BaFin has established a central contact point for so-called "whistleblowers". Whistleblowers may use this contact to report violations of supervisory provisions. Anonymity of whistleblowers will be a top priority for BaFin.
Whistleblowers play an important role in identifying violations of supervisory law. They can make a valuable contribution towards uncovering misconduct by individual persons or entire companies within the financial sector as well as stemming or correcting the negative consequences of such misconduct. Whistleblowers need to be sure, however, that they will not incur any disadvantages by revealing their identity when they report misconduct to BaFin.
With the contact point for whistleblowers, BaFin has not only created a reception center which is responsible for receiving reports of misconduct; it has also established a specific procedure to especially protect the identity of whistleblowers as well as persons affected by the reports made. An important point in this context is that the identity of the whistleblowers is not, in principle, passed on to third parties by BaFin. Irrespective of this, whistleblowers also have the option of contacting BaFin anonymously.
The following communication channels are available to whistleblowers for their reports:
- in writing (on paper) or electronically,
- by phone, with or without recording of the conversation, and
- verbal notification of BaFin employees.
For more detailed information on the contact point for whistleblowers, please visit the BaFin website.
The legal basis for the establishment of the contact point for whistleblowers is section 4d of the German Act Establishing the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanzdienstleistungsaufsichtsgesetz – FinDAG) introduced by the First Financial Markets Amendment Act (Erstes Finanzmarktnovellierungsgesetz).
The contact point for whistleblowers does not replace BaFin's consumer helpline but is instead aimed at persons with a special knowledge of a company's internal affairs – for example because they are employed there or have some other contractual relationship or relationship of trust with the company.