Jordan A. Thomas on how only whistleblowing brings lasting change
A host of legal experts, advocacy bodies and unions support reform in the Australian financial services industry. The corporate world was broadly approving as well, although the Australian Bankers Association (ABA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors opposed protected leaks.
In its submission, the ABA said disclosure to the media “may compromise the ability of the bank or corporation to maintain anonymity for those involved in the process.” Jordan A. Thomas, Chair of the Whistleblower Representation Practice at Labaton Sucharow and a former U.S. prosecutor who went after UBS, Citigroup, and other dodgy banks, told the inquiry to ignore the promises to reform from banks and other companies “announced at press conferences with great fanfare,” as only whistleblowing brings lasting change.
“In the United States, after a lengthy and robust debate about how to break the cycle of corporate corruption, we landed on a simple, yet fundamental truth. Law enforcement authorities and financial regulators cannot effectively and efficiently police the marketplace without the assistance of knowledgeable individuals.”
Just 43 whistleblower tips have resulted in almost $1 billion in sanctions imposed by Thomas’ former employer, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Accordingly, the challenge and opportunity for the Australian Parliament is to find ways to appropriately incentivize knowledgeable individuals to blow the whistle on corporate wrongdoing and protect them when they do.”