Britain looks set to become part of the world’s biggest ever concerted attack on fraud and corruption within financial institutions.
The Bribery Bill – which now seems certain to be passed before the UK General Election – will bring Britain more into line with tough U.S. regulations, according to Complinet, one of the world’s leading suppliers of global finance solutions.
“The new laws will be the most powerful weapons yet in the fight against fraud and deception”, said Chris Pilling, Complinet’s CEO. “They will also be the first step towards worldwide co-ordination of compliance laws among regulators.”
Key parts of the Bribery Bill include making it illegal to bribe a foreign official to obtain or retain business and making it an offence if companies fail to prevent a bribe being paid by their employees or by other firms on their behalf.
Employees face jail sentences of up to ten years and companies could be hit with unlimited fines.
There had been fears that the Bill – currently making its way through the Houses of Parliament – could have been a victim of the timing of the General Election, which looks increasingly likely to be held on May 6th.
Now legislators are confident – because of widespread agreement among the political parties – that the new laws will not run into time difficulties and receive Royal Assent before the Dissolution of Parliament.
“At Complinet, we’ve seen financial companies trying hard to keep up with compliance changes, but the option for strict legal enforcement is necessary as well”, said Pilling. “The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) urgently needs the new powers contained in the Bill to deal with corruption in companies and keep Britain in line with laws which have been introduced in other countries.”