SEC launches whistleblower Web page

SEC launches whistleblower Web page

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a whistleblower Web page where staff can leave tips about securities law violations and apply for cash rewards.

The whislteblower programme is part of Dodd-Frank, giving the SEC the power to financially reward anyone who provides "new and timely information" leading to a successful case that results in a penalty of over $1 million.

Tipsters will be rewarded with between 10% and 30% of the penalties collected as a result of the information they hand over.

The programme has come under heavy criticism from many companies, including JP Morgan Chase and Google, because it does not require staff to report concerns internally first, potentially undermining firms' own efforts.

However, despite the rumblings, no legal challenges have been made and the Web page has now gone live.

In a speech at Georgetown University, the new office's chief Sean McKessy, insists: "Rather than undermining or weakening internal compliance programs, I believe the whistleblower program actually should empower internal compliance personnel to advocate for stronger and more transparent internal compliance programs."

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