Global Risk and Compliance Forum – 12 June 2014

At the recent Global Compliance Forum sponsored jointly by iGlobal Law and Roetzel the following key high level points were made by speakers from the FBI, the City of London Police, the Competition and Markets Authority and a global medical device business :

Anti-Bribery – update from the FBI and City of London Police

  • In 2013 the US Department of Justice made $3.8B from fines and settlements. 2014 promises to be even more lucrative.  It is highly motivated to keep going and is genuinely … after the money.
  • For $1 invested in prosecuting FCPA offences, the DOJ/SEC gets $16 back in fines; prosecuting in the US is good business. But it is not just the fine that hurts; the cost of the monitored compliance afterwards can be far greater.
  • The City of London Police currently have investigations underway which could lead to the first convictions under the UK Bribery Act; they are targeting individual wrongdoers under the criminal law. They are not interested in taking issue with hospitality that is proportionate.
  • National law enforcement agencies share corruption intelligence across borders constantly and are far more internationally joined up and networked than before.
  • The FBI has special agents in 68 countries whose focus includes bribery and corruption.
  • Great advantages come from being the first to co-operate with law enforcers; co-operate early, co-operate fully.
  • It will often be a competitor who reports you, either to gain advantage or to remove disadvantage.
  • There will always be rogue employees – you need to be able to prove that you did everything reasonable to stop an employee from going rogue in your organisation.

Implementing global anti-bribery programmes – insights from a Global Compliance Officer covering 60 countries

  • Always lead from the middle. Whilst the top must set the tone, real implementation will only be achieved from the organisation’s middle.
  • Compliance is not about rules –  it is about behaviour.
  • What motivates most people is what their peers think of them.
  • Pick compliance champions in the operational middle of the organisation who care about honest business practices and are trusted and respected.
  • Avoid saying “no” to the international sales team.  Always say “it works much better if ….”
  • When communicating, pictures paint a 1000 words. Use illustrations …… constantly.
  • Changing behaviour takes time. Focus first on the areas of greatest risk.

Implementing anti-trust compliance – insights from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

  • The CMA is new and is very keen to prove itself.
  • Many businesses do not understand or are even unaware of competition rules.
  • You don’t have to be abusively dominant or in a cartel, happily fixing prices to get into anti-trust trouble.
  • If you are convicted, the fine is only the start of your losses.  Your competitors can sue you for the damage done to their businesses and the costs of continuing compliance can rise sharply.
  • Understand the risks of sharing commercially sensitive information from an anti-trust perspective, especially in a trade association.
  • There are huge advantages in being first through the CMA’s door if you discover a problem.  Ask BA and Virgin.
  • You would be amazed what your employees inadvertently disclose on LinkedIn and similar sites about your business practices.