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Insight

After the hype fades, follow through. You have been warned: bribery & corruption

Written by Pekka Dare on Monday April 2, 2012


So the UK FSA has published their Thematic Review of Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABC).http://www.fsa.gov.uk/library/communication/pr/2012/035.shtml

The lesson is clear. After a new law is enacted or a financial crime theme becomes the focus of regulators due to a scandal, there is a huge response and hype. When the dust settles firms must ensure that control frameworks are properly implemented, and they finish the job. We know the regulators will be watching.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABC) is a classic example, add it to the list: Financial Sanctions, CDD for high risk customers, Fraud, Data Security, Insider Dealing and Market Abuse.

The FSA’s powerful warning last week makes it clear that firms must have taken meaningful action in respect of ABC.

Last year consultants, the media and regulators focussed on the Bribery Act. What is clear now that the hype has faded is that ABC cannot be forgotten about.

What have firms got to do?

Start at the top.

The FSA’s thematic review of ABC in 15 Banks makes it clear that senior management are still muddled and unclear on ABC.


“Management information (MI) on ABC provided to senior management was poor, making it difficult for us to see how firms’ senior management could carry out their oversight functions effectively.”

Evaluate the risks and check controls are working.

“Nearly half the firms surveyed still did not have an adequate risk assessment….”

Get the policies and processes right. Ensure the guidance on contract negotiations, management of third party relationships and hospitality payments is clear and that Staff have the appropriate training.

Keep a an overview of all financial crime risks.

The UK FSA’s fine issued last week to Coutts for failures in relation to high risk AML relationships and PEPs reminds us that the whole range of financial crime  remain a focus for regulators.

Firms must conduct risk assessments, engage senior management and train staff on the whole spectrum of financial crime risks: ABC, Sanctions, AML &CTF, Fraud, Insider dealing and Market Abuse and Data Security.  This is why my view is that firms should ensure that their AML and Financial Crime functions work closely together. But that is a blog topic for another day…

ICA offers professional qualifications in financial crime prevention that cover bribery and corruption. 


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