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Tip-offs to financial regulator up 276%

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Incidences of whistle-blowing to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have increased markedly since the onset of the financial crisis four years ago, figures suggest.

According to data obtained by corporate investigations firm Kroll Advisory Solutions under the Freedom of Information Act, the regulator had 3,733 tip-offs in the year to May, up 276% from the 994 it received in 2007/8.

Kroll said 18% of the company’s investigations in the past year were started as a result of whistle-blowing.

It blamed the increase on less-stringent controls in overseas markets, the ease of creating fraudulent online identities and better reporting capabilities for whistle-blowers.

The Times reports some campaigners suggest financial incentives should be offered to those prepared to incriminate others.

Last month Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS banker, was awarded a record $104m for disclosures that led to the US Internal Revenue hauling in billions of dollars in back taxes and fines from the Swiss bank and its clients.

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