The Bank strives to conduct its business with integrity, competence and professionalism while achieving the highest level of effectiveness and excellence1. Hence, it is important that the Bank is alerted of any actual or potential improper conduct which compromises these aspirations.
One way for the Bank to detect and deal with improper conduct is through information provided by whistleblowers. Generally, a whistleblower is an insider of an organisation (e.g. employee, consultant or vendor) who reports improper conduct that has occurred within that same organisation. In an effort to encourage whistleblowers to come forward with information on any alleged improper conduct, the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 provides safe avenues for them to make disclosures of such alleged improper conduct (whistleblowing) to the relevant authorities in good faith, by protecting their identities, providing them with immunity from civil and criminal proceedings and protecting them from detrimental action.
Disclosure of “improper conduct”
Disclosure may be made to the Bank if it relates to an “improper conduct”, committed or about to be committed, involving:
- criminal offences by the Bank’s officers, employees and directors including fraud, corruption or abuse of power;
- misuse of the Bank’s funds or assets;
- gross mismanagement within the Bank;
- breach of the Bank’s Code of Ethics by its officers and employees;
- breach of the Bank’s Vendor Code of Conduct by its vendors;
- failure to comply with the provisions of the laws administered by the Bank by any person;
- assisting a person to commit any of the above instances of improper conduct; and
- detrimental action taken against whistleblowers or persons closely associated with whistleblowers.
It is advisable for a potential whistleblower to consider whether the alleged improper conduct to be disclosed to the Bank falls within any of the above, prior to making the disclosure. The potential whistleblower should also consider whether the intended disclosure is specifically prohibited by any written law such as the Official Secrets Act 1972. In this regard, potential whistleblowers may wish to seek legal advice from a legal practitioner before making the disclosure to the Bank.
As a statutory body entrusted with regulatory, supervisory and enforcement powers, the Bank is committed to provide the whistleblower protections as outlined under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 and the laws administered by the Bank.
The following protections will be accorded to a whistleblower who makes a disclosure of improper conduct to the Bank in good faith:
- confidentiality of identity;
- immunity from civil and criminal liability for the disclosure made; and
- protection from detrimental action.
Exclusion from Protection
Potential whistleblowers are also reminded that there may be instances wherein their protection would be revoked or excluded. The whistleblower protection does not extend to the following disclosures and will be revoked by the Bank pursuant to section 11 of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010:
- where the disclosures of improper conduct which are -
- frivolous or vexatious;
- principally questioning the merits of government policy, including policy of a public body;
- known to the whistleblower to be false or untrue; or
- made solely or substantially to avoid dismissal or other disciplinary action;
- where the whistleblower has participated in the improper conduct so disclosed;
- where the whistleblower commits an offence under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010; or
- where the disclosures of improper conduct which contain information specifically prohibited from being disclosed under any written law such as the Official Secrets Act 1972.
Any person who makes a disclosure of improper conduct to the Bank, knowing or believing that any material statements in the disclosure is false or untrue commits a criminal offence under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010.
How to whistleblow?
Any disclosure of improper conduct that concerns the Bank must be made to any of the relevant Designated Person throughthe communication channels as set out in the table below:
Chairman of Board Risk Committee
Sealed letters with indicative labels such as “To be opened by [name of the Designated Person] only”, addressed to -
[“Name of Appropriate Designated Person”]
Any other person not specifically identified in this column –
Director of LINK and BNM Offices
Whistleblowers are advised to make their disclosures in writing and to provide sufficient details which include the following:
- the type or description of improper conduct;
- the name of individuals who have committed or are involved in the improper conduct; and
- the ‘how’, ‘what’, and ‘where’ in relation to the improper conduct including supporting documents or evidence, if any.
Whistleblowers are encouraged to provide their identities or contact details to facilitate the Bank to clarify or obtain further information for purposes of further investigation into the improper conduct. Any person who elect to remain anonymous is advised that no whistleblower protection will be accorded and the Bank’s ability to investigate the alleged improper conduct is limited to the extent of the contents of the report received by the Bank.
Whistleblowers will be informed by the Designated Person of the outcome of the investigation and action taken, if any, by the appropriate disciplinary authority or the other appropriate authority, the employer or the other appropriate person or the Public Prosecutor, as the case may be.
General enquiry or complaint
If the subject matter of the disclosure is other than “improper conduct”, such as a general enquiry on conventional and Islamic banking or a complaint on products or services provided by any financial institutions regulated by the Bank, members of the public may contact BNMLINK or BNMTELELINK for further information, enquiries or redress using the following contact details:
BNMLINK (Walk-in Customer Service Centre)
Ground Floor, D Block
Jalan Dato’ Onn
50480 Kuala Lumpur
BNM TELELINK (Contact Centre)
Bank Negara Malaysia
P.O. Box 10922
50929 Kuala Lumpur
Operating Hours: 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (Monday – Friday)
1 The Bank also requires similar standards to be adhered to by financial institutions regulated by the Bank.