FSA unites with SFO for bribery act clampdown

The Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority will be taking a closer look at how well financial services companies guard against “bungs” after the Bribery Act comes into force today, the Financial Times reports.

The SFO will be the lead prosecutor of breaches and must prove bribery to a criminal standard.

Lawrence Graham’s lawyer Eoin O’Shea said: “The FSA’s role will be significant because, in reality, they have to achieve a lower standard of proof.”

Investment banks’ controls in particular would be examined by the FSA, it said last week, as part of the regulator’s next “thematic review”.

Companies can be referred for enforcement action after such reviews into a sector. The SFO is operating an “open door” philosophy and has said it will allow a grace period compliance with the act, as long as companies are open with the agency. It has also said that it could pass on relevant information to the FSA.