Rolls-Royce bribery settlement under review by UK export agency

27 January 2017. By Martin Coyle. 

Rolls-Royce's 497 million-pound ($627 million) UK corruption settlement is under review by the country's export-finance agency, which has the power to claw back losses from deals tarnished by bribery offenses.
 
UK Export Finance, or UKEF, provides credit guarantees for companies making deals overseas, and has backed Rolls-Royce exports worth hundreds of millions of pounds over many years.
 
The agency confirmed it is looking into the record settlement reached last week, but said it didn't have formal investigative powers.
 
"UKEF notes the statements of facts released as part of the deferred prosecution agreement with regards to Rolls-Royce, and is reviewing it," a spokeswoman told MLex. "UKEF remains open to applications from any UK exporter subject to conducting appropriate due diligence."
 
UKEF is able to claim back losses resulting from deals linked to bribery, the agency said in its annual report. These powers apply to loan guarantees and loans.
 
It is unclear how many Rolls-Royce deals guaranteed by UKEF were included in the company's settlement with the Serious Fraud Office.
 
UKEF has the power to refer companies it suspects of bribery to the SFO. It also requires companies to declare that they, or their intermediaries, haven't engaged in bribery to win deals. Companies are also obliged to supply information about the use of agents related to export transactions.
 
While the agency can't blacklist companies, it won't provide funding to companies that have been convicted of corruption and are blacklisted by the World Bank.
 
Rolls-Royce's agreement with the SFO meant it avoided criminal prosecution and will remain able to bid for government contracts.
 
In April 2016, UKEF referred French airplane manufacturer Airbus to the SFO over its use of overseas agents, and suspended funding to the company.
 
Rolls-Royce paid 671 million pounds to UK, US and Brazilian prosecutors last week to settle allegations that it paid millions of pounds in bribes over decades to win contracts all over the world. The majority of the settlement was paid as part of the SFO agreement.
 
The company didn't respond to a request for a comment today.

	Eliot Gao