Corruption

US authorities request that Switzerland extradite seven FIFA officials

The US has issued a formal request to extradite 7 of the 14 FIFA officials indicted on corruption charges.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice and Zurich Police are reported to have stated that there will be a hearing to determine the extradition request.

BBC, 2 July 2015

Anti-corruption groups warn SFO against deferred prosecution agreements

In an open letter to the Director of the Serious Fraud Office, David Green QC, anti-corruption groups, Transparency International, Corruption Watch and Global Witness, have raised concerns about the offer of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs).

The groups urged Mr Green to take account of a number of principles when negotiating DPAs, including, amongst others, only offering them where there is a very strong public interest argument in favour of their use, that there should be no immunity from prosecution and that there must be a full admission of wrong doing by the company.

Transparency International UK, 19 June 2015

Bribery Act 2010

Impact of the Bribery Act 2010 on SMEs

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned a survey of 500 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) regarding the impact of the Bribery Act 2010 (the Act).

The survey broadly assessed SMEs that export or plan to export goods and/or services and looked at their awareness of the Act, the MoJ guidelines (the Guidelines) and the impact of them on their business.

It found that:

  • 66% of SMEs surveyed had either heard of the Act or were aware of its corporate liability for failure to prevent bribery;
  • 81% of SMEs that had heard of the Act were also aware that it had extra-territorial reach;
  • 74% of SMEs that had heard of the Act were unaware of the Guidelines;
  • a third of SMEs had assessed the risk of being asked for bribes;
  • around 4 in 10 SMEs had put bribery prevention procedures in place; and
  • the majority of the SMEs aware of the Act felt that the Act had no impact at all on their ability or plans to export 

Gov.uk, 1 July 2015

Financial Services

FCA Annual Report

The Financial Conduct Authority  (FCA) has published its annual report for 2014/15.  The report provides an overview of the FCA:

  • taking over responsibility for regulating consumer credit and the increase in the number of firms it regulates to 73,000;
  • launching Project Innovate to help bring new and innovative financial products and services to the market;
  • reviewing competition within the wholesale sector;
  • taking significant steps to implement the new Senior Managers Regime;
  • publishing its cash savings market study;
  • publishing its retirement income market study;
  • enforcement action, including on LIBOR and Forex; and
  • response to the Davis review regarding events surrounding a media story about the FCA's planned life assurance review.

    FCA.org.uk, 2 July 2015

HMRC to shut down businesses due to unpaid tax bills

HMRC applied to shut down 3,000 businesses last year to meet unpaid tax bills.

It has successfully gained court orders to wind up 1,887 businesses over their tax debts. That is a 4% rise from 2013 figures.

City A.M, 29 June 2015

Money Laundering

National Strategic Assessment of serious and organised crime

The National Crime Agency has published its second public-facing analysis of the serious and organised crime threats affecting the UK.  The National Strategic Assessment, which is produced annually, draws together knowledge from across the whole law enforcement community.

Money laundering is now regarded as a high priority risk in its own right and along with bribery and corruption (including the laundering of the proceeds of corruption, for example by Politically Exposed Persons) is viewed as damaging the UK economy and enabling all types of criminality.  The UK is an international finance centre and money laundering could damage the UK's reputation and reduce overseas inward investment at a macro level.

NCA, 23 June 2015

Health and Safety

Health and Safety Executive Annual Report 2014/15

The Health and Safety Executive has published its annual report summarising its performance for 2014/15.

HSE, 2014/15

Farm Manager jailed for manslaughter

A farm manager has been jailed for two and a half years for gross negligence manslaughter following the workplace deaths of two workers.

BBC, 1 July 2015

General

Lord Janner to be prosecuted for child sexual offences

A case review under the recently introduced Victims' Right to Review scheme has resulted in the Crown Prosecution Service re-evaluating the decision to prosecute Lord Janner, who is accused of child sex offences.  Given medical evidence suggesting that Lord Janner will not be fit to stand trial, it is likely that there will be a "trial of the facts".

Crown Prosecution Service, 1 July 2015