UK business unaware of US corruption laws

UK business unaware of US corruption laws

UK businesses are largely unaware of the risks they might face when doing business in the US despite the NatWest Three publicity

A new survey by
KPMG Forensic
reveals 46% of legal department heads at FTSE350 companies which conduct
business in the US either wrongly believe they are immune from US prosecutors or
are simply unaware whether they might fall under their jurisdiction.

KMPG surveyed general counsels and company secretaries at FTSE350 companies
on their awareness of the
US Foreign
and Corrupt Practices Act
(FCPA), legislation which permits US authorities
prosecute foreign companies and individuals with a ‘US footprint’ for corrupt
practices involving public officials.

Under the act, UK companies leave a US footprint if they do business in the
country or if they use American financial institutions as advisers.

‘The lack of awareness by companies of the scope of US anti-corruption laws
is especially concerning,’ Jennifer Hammond, a director at KPMG Forensic, said.
‘The US regulators take an uncompromising approach to this issue, and have
carried out an increasing number of investigations since 2001.’

Further reading:

NatWest Three given £3.5m payback reprieve

NatWest three agree to 37 months’ jail plea

Read
full story in The Times

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