Namfisa's whistle-blower hotline promotes accountability, transparency

Gervasius Matheus
On 2 July 2018, the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) launched a whistle-blower hotline aimed at promoting transparency and accountability within the country’s non-bank financial sector. The initiative marked a significant step towards enhancing public trust in these institutions and safeguarding consumer interests.
Whistle-blowing involves reporting any wrongdoing, misconduct or illegal activities within an organisation. It is crucial for exposing corruption, fraud and unethical practices that can have severe repercussions on the economy and the public. Namfisa's whistle-blower hotline encourages employees, customers and stakeholders to report suspicious activities within the non-bank financial sector, aligning with the organisation’s mandate to protect consumer interests, maintain sector stability and ensure fair and ethical practices.
The importance of this hotline cannot be overstated. Whistle-blowers often access vital information that can uncover fraudulent schemes, the mismanagement of funds or other illegal activities. By providing a safe and anonymous reporting platform, Namfisa aims to create an environment where individuals feel empowered to speak up without fear of exposure.
One of the key benefits of the hotline is its potential to deter wrongdoing within non-bank financial institutions. Knowing that stakeholders, including employees and customers, can report misconduct without fear of reprisal creates a strong deterrent effect, potentially reducing the likelihood of fraudulent activities. This helps to strengthen the overall integrity of Namibia’s non-bank financial sector.

Identify and address malpractice
Moreover, the whistle-blower hotline serves as a mechanism to identify and address malpractice within the industry. By encouraging individuals to report suspicious activities, Namfisa can swiftly investigate and take appropriate action to mitigate potential threats to financial stability. This initiative benefits the entire economy and safeguards consumer interests.
Additionally, the hotline enhances public trust in financial system. When individuals witness the authority taking decisive action against wrongdoers, they are more likely to have confidence in the sector. This trust is crucial for attracting investments, fostering economic growth, and maintaining a stable financial environment.
To ensure the success of the whistle-blower hotline, Namfisa has implemented robust measures to protect the confidentiality and anonymity of whistle-blowers. Reporting channels have been established, and stringent protocols are in place to manage and investigate each case. Whistle-blowers can report via a toll-free number (0800 222 333), fax (0800 00 77 88) or email ([email protected]), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whistle-blowers can be assured that their identities will be protected, and their concerns treated with the utmost importance.

**Gervasius Matheus is an internal auditor at the Namibia Financial Institution Supervisory Authority (Namfisa).