Ten tips to avoid breaking anti-bribery laws

Ten tips to avoid breaking anti-bribery laws

This week, the brokerage firm Besso Limited was fined a not insubstantial £315,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

So why was the fine imposed? Whatever did they get wrong?

Well, according to the FCA:

Besso failed to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of bribery and corruption associated with making payments to parties who entered into commission sharing agreements with Besso or assisted Besso in winning and retaining business.

In particular, although Besso had introduced written bribery and corruption policies and procedures in November 2009, the FCA considered that they were:

not adequate in their content or implementation.

This case is a wake-up call to businesses who think that they can put compliance with the Bribery Act 2010 onto the back burner. The Act is something that should concern all UK businesses—and indeed any non-UK businesses which have business interests in the UK.

Whilst the FCA only regulates certain businesses in the UK, such as financial services firms, it is clear that the Serious Fraud Office (which prosecutes bribery and corruption offences) is champing at the bit to get its teeth into a few juicy prosecutions.

So here's 10 tips to remind your business how to deal with bribery and corruption matters and to ensure compliance with the 2010 Act:

  1. Code of ethics: Do you have a clear and forthright code of ethics which explicitly refers to a zero tolerance of bribery and corruption? If so, well done! Bear in mind, however, that this should always have board level approval and be a tad more comprehensive than, say, Google's admirable, but somewhat terse, motto of 'do no evil'. The slightly longer 'please do no evil' or more specific 'don't bribe' won't cut it either.
  2. Proper policies and procedures: Is the code of ethics supported by comprehensive policies a

Subscription Form

Latest Articles:

Already a subscriber? Login
RELX (UK) Limited, trading as LexisNexis, and our LexisNexis Legal & Professional group companies will contact you to confirm your email address. You can manage your communication preferences via our Preference Centre. You can learn more about how we handle your personal data and your rights by reviewing our  Privacy Policy.

Access this article and thousands of others like it free by subscribing to our blog.

Read full article

Already a subscriber? Login