The FCA has given the financial services industry a timely reminder that bribery enforcement is not only dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office and the Bribery Act, explains Business Crime Solicitor Jeremy Summers.
The £1.8m fine imposed on JLT Speciality Limited (“JLTSL”) arose out of a failure to have in place appropriate checks or controls to guard against the risk of Bribery when making payments to overseas third parties.
It is important to stress that the FCA found no evidence to suggest that JLTSL had permitted any illicit payment or inducement, nor that it intended to permit any such payment. A substantial penalty was nevertheless imposed because the company had failed to have in place procedures to mitigate the potential for bribery and corruption risks.
Commenting on the sanction, Tracey McDermott, FCA Director of Enforcement and Financial Crime, stated:
“Bribery and corruption from overseas payments is an issue we expect all firms to do everything they can to tackle. Firms cannot be complacent about their controls – when we take enforcement action we expect the industry to sit up and take notice”
To ensure that your business does not attract similar scrutiny from the FCA, now is the time to check:-
- Do you have an effective policy in place which properly addresses the risks specific to your business; and
- Is your policy is being implemented as it should be.
We have substantial experience in devising anti-corruption policies and providing training to staff, and would be pleased to discuss this with you in greater detail.