Carphone Warehouse fined £29m after whistleblowing

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined The Carphone Warehouse £29m for its Geek Squad, a mobile phone insurance and technical support product. This follows an FCA investigation which stemmed from whistleblowing reports.

The FCA found the company failed to give its sales consultants the right training to give suitable advice to customers purchasing Geek Squad, for example recommending Geek Squad to customers who already had cover through their home insurance or bank accounts.

The Carphone Warehouse made regulated sales of Geek Squad policies worth £445m over the period investigated (1 December 2008 to 30 June 2015), and the company did not contest the findings, exercising its right, under the FCA’s partly contested case process, to ask the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee to assess the appropriate level of sanction.

Mark Steward, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: "Without whistleblowers coming forward, these practices may never have come to light. In the past few years, whistleblowers have contributed critical intelligence to the enforcement actions we have taken against firms and individuals.”

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