It has been reported that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is to adopt “a zero tolerance approach” towards companies that offer “kick backs” to foreign government officials in return for favourable treatment. The SFO has warned that there could be a rise in prosecutions if companies fail to adhere to the principles of the new Bribery Act. Leonard McCarthy, the head of the World Bank’s anti-corruption unit, met last month with Richard Alderman, the SFO’s director, to discuss strengthening co-operation between the two agencies. McCarthy said the Bank wanted to work with the SFO to ensure that funds stolen from developing countries were repatriated. The Bank can bar companies guilty of corruption from securing future work in emerging countries.