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OECD Publishes Follow-up Report on UK’s Implementation of Anti-Bribery Convention

On March 21, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Working Group on Bribery (Working Group) published its “Phase 4 Two-Year Follow-Up Report” on the United Kingdom’s implementation of the OECD anti-bribery convention. The Working Group’s report follows the written responses the United Kingdom submitted in March 2019 to the OECD’s “Phase 4” evaluation in March 2017.

In its report, the Working Group expresses some concern at the low level of finalized and ongoing foreign bribery enforcement cases in the United Kingdom, given the size of the UK economy. The Working Group’s findings include the following:

  1. there has only been a partial enforcement of the recommendations regarding the use and protection of whistleblowers in foreign bribery cases;

  2. the reform of the suspicious activity reports (SAR) system has still not been implemented even though it has been promised since 2015;

  3. improvements need to be made to the transparency of court decisions regarding foreign bribery cases to ensure routine publications of judgments and sentencing remarks;

  4. information sharing, bribery detection and case management needs to be improved by increasing collaboration between government agencies; and

  5. no steps have been taken to address long-standing recommendations to ensure the independence of foreign bribery investigations and prosecutions, or to enhance detection through mechanisms for reporting anti-money laundering.

However, the Working Group welcomed the adoption of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which grants new powers to the UK Financial Intelligence Unit, including the authority to direct reporting entities to disclose additional information based on a SAR.

The Working Group has invited the United Kingdom to report back in writing by March 2021 on outstanding recommendations. The United Kingdom also will report to the Working Group on its foreign bribery enforcement actions in the context of its annual update.

The Working Group’s report is available here.

©2019 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

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About this Author

John Ahern, Financial Attorney, London, Katten Law Firm
Partner

John Ahern, partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP and head of the London Financial Services group, focuses his practice on banking, financial services, UK and European financial markets, and related regulations. His background in private practice and as in-house counsel at a global investment bank provides him with perspective on the unique regulatory issues facing the wholesale and private banking sectors. John advises multilateral trading facilities, broker-dealers and banks on trading, clearing and settlement as well as custody of securities—both physical and...

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Carolyn H. Jackson, International Attorney, Katten Muchin law firm
Partner

Carolyn Jackson is a partner in Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer. She provides US financial regulatory legal advice to a broad range of market participants, including commercial banks, investment banks, investment managers, broker-dealers, electronic trading platforms, clearinghouses, trade associations and over-the-counter derivatives service providers.

Carolyn guides clients in the structuring and offering of complex securities, commodities and derivatives transactions and in complying with US securities and commodities laws and regulations. 

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Nathaniel Lalone, Katten Muchin Law Firm, Financial Institutions Attorney
Senior Associate

Nathaniel Lalone, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, has a broad range of experience in the regulation of financial products and financial markets, and frequently provides regulatory and compliance advice to trading venues, clearing houses and buy-side firms active in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, futures and securities markets. He is actively involved in advising clients on the implementation of MiFID 2 and MiFIR in the European Union as well as the international reach of US financial services regulation. He also has significant experience with structuring...

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Neil Robson, private equity fund managers counselor, Katten Law Firm, London
Partner

Neil Robson, a regulatory and compliance partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, focuses his practice on counseling hedge and private equity fund managers and other investment advisers on operational, regulatory and compliance issues. He regularly addresses Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and EU authorization and compliance under both the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFM Directive) and MiFID, cross-border issues in the financial services sector, market abuse, anti-money laundering and regulatory capital requirements, formations and buyouts of...

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