This post was written by Robert Falkner and Tom Webley.

In March 2012, The Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) published the results of its thematic review into the policies and procedures that investment banks have in place to prevent their employees from paying or receiving bribes. Click here for more information on the background to this review.

The FSA’s report revealed that the provisions that many firms have in place for financial crime and anti-money laundering fall short of what is necessary to address the requirements of anti-bribery and corruption compliance.

In summary, the FSA found that:

  • The majority of the firms reviewed had not fully considered the FSA’s anti-bribery and corruption rules
  • Nearly half of the firms reviewed did not have adequate procedures for risk assessment
  • Generally, senior management was not provided with sufficient information on anti-bribery and corruption, and could not provide sufficient oversight
  • Only two firms had started internal anti-bribery and corruption audits
  • There were significant concerns over the way that the firms dealt with third parties to retain or win business
  • Few firms had procedures in place to ensure that the corporate hospitality and entertainment offered to certain clients was not excessive when judged cumulatively

Click here for a copy of the full FSA report.

As a result of its findings, the FSA is holding a consultation on proposed amendments to its “Financial Crime: a guide for firms.” Click here for more information on the FSA’s consultation.

The FSA also made it clear that it intends to take enforcement action in relation to shortcomings in firms’ anti-bribery and corruption policies and procedures.