• Tools to fight corruption in Brazil improved after Lava Jato scandal, Petrobras compliance director says
    16 May 2019
    Companies doing business in Brazil have “nowhere to hide” after the "Lava Jato" (Car Wash) scandal led to the improvement of legal anticorruption tools available to authorities, Petrobras’ governance and compliance director said today.

    “Lava Jato has sophisticated the control environment of the country. Now you have federal prosecutors, federal police officials, anti-money laundering and anticorruption bills, and incentives to settlements for individuals and companies. There’s nowhere to hide,” Rafael Gomes told the audience at a compliance conference.

    Gomes emphasized the 2013 bill that introduced plea deals for individuals to the country’s legislation. “This really was the fuel to the motor of federal prosecutors and federal police officials to ramp up the Lava Jato investigations,” said the executive of the state-controlled oil giant that was ensnared by the corruption probe.

    By Rodrigo Russo.

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  • ​Companies engaged in bid-rigging cartels should be banned from government contracts, Colombian president says
    15 May 2019
    Companies that bribe public servants in bid-rigging cartels should never be able to contract with the government again, said Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia's president.

    "We hope that principle becomes international practice because we can't stand that corporations bribe civil servants, win projects, influence biddings, and then they just pay a fine and are back again contracting with the state," Márquez said today at an event* in Cartagena, Colombia.

    Márquez said such a practice isn't tolerated in his country. "Abuse of competition leads to corruption, and corruption also triggers negative forms of breaking competition law,” he said. “If we succeed in setting an example, we will never see corruption again.”

    By Ana Paula Candil and Michael Acton.

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  • Companies seeking cooperation credit face uncertainty after Deutsche Bank decision, ex-prosecutor says
    15 May 2019
    It's increasingly a "blind game" for companies that want cooperation credit, a former top prosecutor said regarding a recent decision that sharply criticized prosecutors for outsourcing to Deutsche Bank an investigation into Libor manipulation.

    A decision released this month creates more uncertainty for companies that want to cooperate with government probes, Robert Khuzami, the former deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said today at an event.

    "It creates a little more uncertainty in the process," Khuzami said, "It's a little bit more of a blind game now if the government's going to be in the business of focusing your efforts."

    By Richard Vanderford.

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  • Lax regulatory frameworks see banks falling into same old traps, Standard Chartered executive says
    09 April 2019
    Banks need more consistent regulations to ensure data theft and sanction breaches are reduced, a Standard Chartered executive said today.

    Vivek Padmanabhan, head of compliance for the bank’s Africa and Middle East arm, said onboarding controls at UK banks need to be “treated in the same way” for clients and vendors to avoid data breaches.

    Banks operating in the UK are required to undertake stringent requirements imposed by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority for assessing the risk of onboarding businesses, while the threshold for individuals remains much lower.

    By Annie Robertson.

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  • StanChart's financial-crime failings exposed by UK regulator
    09 April 2019
    Standard Chartered’s nine-figure fine for UK money laundering breaches had been expected, but the scale of the failings, including suitcases of cash being deposited at the bank, has been laid bare today.

    The investment bank said in February that it expected to pay $900 million to cover money-laundering and sanctions breaches. It today paid $1.1 billion in a joint settlement with US and UK authorities that brings an end to a five-year investigation into its financial-crime controls.

    The size of the penalty, while high, won’t raise too many eyebrows in light of other big-ticket penalties imposed on banks, such as HSBC’s $1.9 billion fine in 2012. But the failings revealed by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority certainly will.

    By Martin Coyle.

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