The Co-operative Bank (Co-op) has hired a former senior HSBC executive to keep it out of trouble, despite the fact that he resigned from his previous role due to a money laundering scandal. David Bagley has been appointed director of regulatory risk and compliance to help improve the damaged reputation of the United Kingdom bank.
Jail time for antitrust violations is excessively severe and does not have a place in Germany, according to German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) president Andreas Mundt. German antitrust regulators have sufficient power to deter price fixing without treating it as a crime, he added.
FIFA’s compliance chief will be made privy to the full report into alleged corruption during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. A summary of the report was released by FIFA, but was criticised by its author as being inconsistent with the report’s conclusions. The report will be disclosed to compliance chief Domenico Scala, who will present the organisation’s Executive Committee with selected evidence. The body will then decide the best course of action, and has not ruled out a re-vote.
An entertainment venue in Bangkok has been raided by Thai authorities, who found a list of police officers that were allegedly receiving bribes so that they would turn a blind eye to license violations and illegal sex services. Illegal items, including drugs, were also found. The raid was conducted by 50 police and military officers after reports arose that the venue did not have the appropriate licences and was offering sex services.
Brazil state-owned oil company Petrobras will create a dedicated internal compliance division to track internal processes following the recent arrests of 23 people on suspicion of money laundering and corruption. The company’s head Graca Foster made the promise to the Brazilian people after newly re-elected President Dilma Rousseff said that all agreements between Petrobras and its contractors would be investigated.
Exploration in Israel’s large offshore oil drilling project Leviathan has stopped amid fears around mounting levels of regulation. An increasingly hostile regulatory environment, coupled with a rule stipulating that half the project’s output should be reserved for the domestic market, has stalled exploration of the country’s proven reserves of one trillion cubic metres. Approximately 1.5 trillion cubic metres of reserves are estimated still to be found.
As world leaders gather in the Australian city of Brisbane for this weekend’s Group of 20 summit, or G20, a deal for greater transparency over company ownership appears unlikely with China claiming that the issue is only at the discussion stage. A working group at the G20 is seeking an agreement on how best to deal with the use of shell companies that can hide ill-gotten gains or avoid taxation.
FIFA has been plunged into controversy again after a summary of the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process was deemed misleading by the author of the full report. Chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, Joachim Eckert, summarised the 350-page report into 42 pages, and concluded that inappropriate behaviour in bidding campaigns were “of very limited scope”.
Hackers are targeting chief executive officers who access the internet via their hotel Wi-Fi. The hackers have found a way to access hotel databases and discover the identity of each room occupant. They then offer CEOs an update on well-known software such as Abode Flash, Google Toolbar and Windows Messenger. When the CEOs elect to download the new version, they unwittingly inherit DarkHole software as well, giving the hacker access to their computer.
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European Union (EU) have opened antitrust probes into Qualcomm, adding to the company’s existing woes as an investigation into anti-competitive behaviour continues in China. The FTC is looking into Qualcomm’s patent licencing business while the EU is probing its baseband chip set business.
By now, internal investigations have become a reaction to companies facing allegations of misconduct, such as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. When an investigation occurs within a company, the legal department will jump to assert privilege over documents and communications to retain as much control over the information as possible. However, with the benefit of protected information come stringent processes required to ensure privilege is maintained.
One of the primary ways to strengthen corporate culture and integrity is to make employees accountable for recognising and reporting potential wrongdoing. Companies that are serious about compliance have begun to adopt codes of conduct, anti-corruption policies, compliance training and other measures that stress the importance of accountability as a key corporate value that drives a company’s success and helps differentiate it from the competition.
Many companies that sell through distributors and resellers are focused on ensuring that those channel partners are of solid integrity and have some basic understanding of compliance. These days, ensuring integrity often means that potential distributors are assessed for compliance risks and undergo some form of due diligence (also known as a background check). These background checks use public sources to identify whether a potential distributor has any known compliance infringements or might have the propensity to be involved in illegal activity at some stage due to its location, type of business or the way it operates.
The FTSE 100 Index makes up the 100 largest companies traded on the London Stock Exchange in terms of market capitalisation, and makes up one of the most internationally relevant indices on the planet. It represents some of the largest companies in the UK and the entirety of Europe. As a recent string of articles on the topic on European codes has been featured in successive issues of CI, it seems only natural to turn the spotlight on some of the largest and most well-known companies on the London Stock exchange.
This year’s Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) Compliance and Ethics Institute in Chicago attracted more than 1400 delegates – a record number of attendees – including the team from Compliance Insider®. The following are some of the outstanding stories to come from this year’s conference.
The Malaysian government has urged companies to form their own anti-bribery policies amid proposals for laws that would see them held accountable for the actions of individual employees. Minister in the Prime Minister’s department of governance, integrity and human rights, Datuk Paul Low Send Kuan, said it was the government’s responsibility to change the private sector’s mindset.
United States retail store Home Depot has revealed that the hackers who stole payment card details also stole 53 million customer email addresses. The hackers took the information via a third party vendor between April and September this year. Home Depot had previously admitted that 56 million debit and credit card details were hacked.
A water management, construction and drilling company has admitted to bribery, internal control failures and FCPA violations. The company took appropriate actions upon learning of the potential misconduct, and self-reported to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when it was confirmed. As a result, the penalties were reduced to reflect the company’s cooperation.