Companies need to make sure they have effective anti-bribery measures in place

The risk of bribery in financial services is a growing concern, according to the British Standards Institution (BSI).

BSI risk management specialist Suzanne Fribbins said the insurance industry needs to take note of the fine handed down to Besso for not having correct procedures in place.

“This is the second such fine in the financial services industry in three months and a sign that the sector needs to take notice to enforcement action from the FCA,” she said. “There is now a heightened imperative in the industry of the need to have clear policies and adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery, help ensure that workers are not being bribed and prohibit bribery with all the people you are doing business with.”

 And Fribbins said that businesses needed to take action to improve their standing in the public eye.

“The UK is ranked 14th out of 177 countries in an index of perceived levels of public sector corruption around the world, so there still remains some work to do,” she said. “Businesses across the spectrum, from FTSE 100 firms to SMEs, need to have an anti-bribery management system in place.

“Put simply, it’s a series of policies, procedures and controls that a company must put into effect to mitigate the risk of bribery and ensure its compliance with the law. It ensures that you have a system in place, such that if there is a failure and bribery does take place, either against or on behalf of the company, the system will ensure the company acts to investigate and deal with that bribery and puts in place preventative measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”