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UK whistleblowers could get US-style payouts

Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 | 5:51 AM ET
CNBC

Workers who become witnesses for the U.K. state in cases of corporate crime could be in line for payouts, under new proposals being considered.

The U.K.'s Home Office confirmed it "will consider the case for incentivizing whistleblowing, including the provision of financial incentives to support whistleblowing in cases of fraud, bribery and corruption," in a statement.

This comes at the same time as the launch of a new National Crime Agency modeled on the FBI.

White-collar crime has come under increasing scrutiny in the U.K., as a number of high-profile cases have emerged post-credit crisis, such as the London Whale JP Morgan scandal and UBS trader Kweku Adoboli.

(Read more: Why traders commit crime)

There have also been hefty fines paid by banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered over infractions overseas.

British and American authorities have frequently co-operated over investigations like the Libor-rigging scandal.

(Read more: Libor scandal)

Whistleblower-paying legislation in the U.S., launched in 2011, has led to more tip-offs, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. A whistleblower can receive between 10 to 30 percent of fines collected following an investigation if they exceed $1 million.

(Read more: Wall Street whistleblowers cashing in)

Earlier this month, the SEC announced that it had paid its largest ever reward - $14 million – to a single whistleblower, but did not reveal which case was involved.

- By CNBC's Catherine Boyle. Twitter: @cboylecnbc.

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