Monday, November 30, 2015

Britain Approves First Deferred Prosecution Agreement

According to Reuters, a judge approved Britain's first Deferred Prosecution Agreement today.  The below is from the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) press release.  
The Serious Fraud Office's first application for a Deferred Prosecution Agreement was today approved by Lord Justice Leveson at Southwark Crown Court, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The counterparty to the DPA, Standard Bank Plc (now  known as ICBC Standard Bank Plc) ("Standard Bank"), was the subject of an indictment alleging failure to prevent bribery contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. This indictment, pursuant to DPA proceedings, was immediately suspended. This was also the first use of section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 by any prosecutor.

As a result of the DPA, Standard Bank will pay financial orders of US$25.2 million and will be required to pay the Government of Tanzania a further US$7 million in compensation. The bank has also agreed to pay the SFO's reasonable costs of £330,000 in relation to the investigation and subsequent resolution of the DPA.

In addition to the financial penalty that has been imposed, Standard Bank has agreed to continue to cooperate fully with the SFO and to be subject to an independent review of its existing anti-bribery and corruption controls, policies and procedures regarding compliance with the Bribery Act 2010 and other applicable anti-corruption laws. It is required to implement recommendations of the independent reviewer (Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP).
DPAs are a new settlement vehicle in the U.K., as discussed in my article International White Collar Crime and Deferred Prosecution Agreements.  One should expect that now the first DPA has been approved, U.K. enforcement bodies will begin aggressively using DPAs in the coming years.  As the Director of the SFO, David Green, said of the Standard Bank DPA, "This landmark DPA will serve as a template for future agreements."

The press release and links to the Standard Bank DPA are available on the SFO website

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