UK hits Aon with bribery fineFebruary 2009
The UK broking arm of Aon, the US insurance broker, was fined £5.25million ($7.5m) for bribery last month, providing further evidence that the British authorities are adopting a stronger stance on combatting corruption.
The fine was the result of the first completed bribery case undertaken by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and resulted from a wider inquiry that may bring forth more actions against UK companies.
Over the past year Britain has become noticeably tougher on cases of corporate bribery and corruption abroad, partly as a result of pressure from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (EP10, issue 5, p1).
The FSA’s intervention suggests the authorities have decided to increasingly use US-style regulatory fines rather than expensive actions in the courts.
Aon’s fine resulted from suspected corruption in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and was reduced from a possible £7.5m because the company
co-operated with inquiries and agreed to settle early.
Aon says it has now put measures in place to prevent further corruption in high risk areas. In some cases this will include refusing to do business with any parties other than direct clients.
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