May 2014

The theme running through this month’s reports is one of government intervention, at both national and international level, to encourage, if not compel, compliance by companies with regulations aimed at addressing corrupt behaviour. Spain’s recently enacted anti-bribery law extends the jurisdiction of its courts well beyond Spain and Spanish citizens. New EU measures will compel the disclosure by companies of their ABC policies, although revised rules on mandatory debarment may ease the penalty on those demonstrating a desire to put corruption behind them. Taxpayers in Australia will be treated more favourably if they “come clean” on failures to disclose income, although conversely, companies trading minerals in the US have found their obligations to disclose reduced. In the UK, revised sentencing guidelines for economic offences, coupled with greater cooperation between authorities, may signal an increased risk of enforcement action for those flouting the law. Luckily, for banks at least, the BBA has published new guidance on how to meet ABC obligations.

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