Realities of the UK Bribery Act | Forensic & Litigation Consulting

The Realities of the UK Bribery Act

FTI Consulting - Forensic & Litigation Consulting

28 September 2012

In July 2012, one year after the UK Bribery Act became effective, FTI Consulting conducted a survey of senior and middle managers in large- and medium-sized businesses operating in the UK. We set out to uncover their current attitudes, the compliance steps undertaken or contemplated by their companies and their views on enforcement.

This paper resets the dial on the UK Bribery Act. There has not been the early flurry of prosecutions that was feared but it has led to a significant change of attitude among business leaders – a greater concern about compliance and preventative training and preparation.

Compliance with global anti-bribery laws is an increasingly important issue for companies against a backdrop of sluggish economic activity, tough competition for market share, rigorous cost management and shrinking budgets for non-revenue generating activities, but increasing public expectations of business ethics and tougher enforcement by regulators. As companies seek growth through expansion into emerging markets they may also face new and different business environments and exposure to increased risk.

The UK Bribery Act, which consolidated, clarified and strengthened UK anti-bribery law, is generally broader and more stringent than the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The UK Bribery Act covers four categories of offence: (i) bribing another person; (ii) being bribed; (iii) bribery of foreign public officials; and (iv) failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery. Among the differences between the UK Bribery Act and the FCPA is that the UK Bribery Act criminalises bribery of private persons and companies, in addition to bribery of foreign public officials. In a previous survey by FTI Consulting into corporate investigations, 60% of respondents saw the UK Bribery Act as a top-three concern over the next five years.

The research, which surveyed 571 UK-based board level, senior and middle management, was conducted online by the Strategy Consulting and Research team at FTI Consulting.

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