Following a court hearing on 30 November, SFO confirmed the approval of the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). The DPA relates to Standard Bank plc (now ICBC Standard Bank plc). Standard Bank was the joint lead arranger, with a Tanzanian sister company, on a fund-raising for the Tanzanian government. Two senior executives of the sister company appointed an agent, with the promise of paying it 1% of the amount raised.Two of the three shareholders of the agent were related to the government, and the transaction moved swiftly after the agent’s appointment. Shortly after completion, the agent removed most of the funds relating to its payment from its account with the Tanzanian sister company, at which stage the company made a report to its parent, which in turn alerted Standard Bank. Standard Bank appointed lawyers and made reports to SFO and the then Serious Organised Crimes Agency. Standard Bank did not have in place appropriate procedures or training, which meant that no-one in the UK entity appreciated the need to carry out due diligence on the agent, nor to act on the red flag indications. SFO and the relevant judge agreed there was no prospect of Standard Bank claiming it had adequate procedures, and that it had therefore breached s7 Bribery Act. SFO and the judge took into account the factors that would tend towards a DPA rather than an immediate prosecution, and agreed them. Provided Standard Bank meets the conditions of the DPA, the prosecution, currently stalled, will be dropped in three years’ time. See our detailed article for further information. (Source: SFO Announces First DPA)