£22m paid in Bri­tain’s first DPA fine

Daily Mail - - City & Finance - By James Salmon

A FORMER Lon­don-based branch of a South African bank will pay £22m to set­tle bribery al­le­ga­tions as part of the UK’s first ever de­ferred pros­e­cu­tion agree­ment (DPA).

DPAs are spe­cial plea bar­gains al­low­ing pros­e­cu­tors to sus­pend a pros­e­cu­tion for an agreed pe­riod of time, and then drop it. In re­turn, com­pa­nies agree to pay a fine, re­pay their ill-got­ten gains and help with the pros­e­cu­tion of in­di­vid­u­als.

Ex­ec­u­tives at South Africa’s Stan­dard Bank have been in­ves­ti­gated by the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice over a bribe paid in 2013 to Tan­za­nian of­fi­cials. The il­le­gal pay­ment was made to se­cure a lu­cra­tive deal to ad­vise on a £400m fundrais­ing by the Tan­za­nian govern­ment, ini­ti­ated to fi­nance elec­tric­ity, wa­ter and other in­fra­struc­ture projects.

The Lon­don unit at the cen­tre of the scan­dal was ac­quired by the In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China (ICBC). It was in­volved in the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

As part of its £22m set­tle­ment, Stan­dard Bank – now known as ICBC Stan­dard Bank – will have to pay £4.7m in com­pen­sa­tion to the Tan­za­nian govern­ment.

High Court judge Brian Leve­son – more widely known for his in­quiry into the me­dia af­ter the phone hack­ing scan­dal – for­mally ap­proved the UK’s first DPA in the high court yes­ter­day.

SFO boss David Green has re­vealed he hopes to se­cure another DPA with an un­named firm by the end of the year.

A num­ber of UK banks, in­clud­ing HSBC and Stan­dard Char­tered, have signed DPAs in the US for scan­dals rang­ing from sanc­tions-bust­ing to money laun­der­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.