(Bloomberg) -- A top financial regulator is asking large Wall Street banks for non-disclosure agreements in their swaps and clearing businesses to see whether they muzzle would-be whistleblowers.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has reached out to a number of banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. Its scrutiny expands on similar government probes that have swept up companies for allegedly using confidentiality agreements to discourage workers or clients from reporting violations.

The CFTC has requested that the banks hand over employment and customer agreements in their swaps and clearing businesses, according to a person familiar with the matter. Enforcement staff in the New York office is looking into whether the contracts include language that impede whistleblowers or fail to make clear that wrongdoing can be reported to the regulator, the person said.

The companies haven’t been accused of wrongdoing, and the requests could result in no action. Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan declined to comment. The CFTC also declined to comment.

The effort comes as the derivatives regulator and other government agencies are trying to encourage individuals to come forward with more tips. In February, the CFTC hired former Justice Department prosecutor Brian Young to head up the whistleblower program.

“Leads generated from insiders are critically important to any financial enforcement program,” Young said in a statement at the time. 

The CFTC’s requests to firms follow a crackdown by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has ramped up its enforcement in the area and levied steeper fines against companies that don’t comply. 

In January, JPMorgan agreed, without admitting or denying the findings, to pay $18 million to resolve charges by the SEC that the bank prevented advisory and brokerage customers from voluntarily contacting the regulator about securities violations. 

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A year ago, a Bloomberg News review of confidentiality agreements in public filings found at least a dozen companies left out exceptions for reporting to the SEC over two years, raising questions about the extent of the practice. 

“Whether it’s in your employment contracts, settlement agreements or elsewhere, you simply cannot include provisions that prevent individuals from contacting the SEC with evidence of wrongdoing,” Gurbir Grewal, the agency’s enforcement director, said in a statement early this year. 

--With assistance from Todd Gillespie, Katherine Doherty and Hannah Levitt.

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