20th December 2011

Bribery Act 2010 – Guidance on compliance

The UK now has the most comprehensive anti-bribery legislation in the world, enhancing its reputation as a safe commercial environment in which to do business. The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) is delighted to publish this guidance, which sets out the key issues for the UK banking sector to consider regarding the implementation of the UK Bribery Act 2010. I am grateful to the BBA Bribery Act Working Party, which has advised on the production of the guidance, and I would also like to thank the Serious Fraud Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Financial Services Authority and the Ministry of Justice, which have helped develop our thinking in this area.

The Bribery Act 2010, the Ministry of Justice guidance and the publication of this guidance form the beginning of a collaborative process; there will be a continuing need for our sector to collaborate closely and share best practice and experiences as the legislation is tested in a legal and practical sense. The BBA remains committed to supporting its members in their ongoing efforts to comply with the Act and is mindful that the anti-bribery responsibilities of banks do not stop with the implementation of the UK Bribery Act alone. This guidance focuses on the very important area of helping banks assess the policies and procedures they need to put in place to meet the requirements of the Act, and also considers the links with other requirements such as FSA regulations.

The guidance does not seek to provide a detailed analysis of pre-existing regulatory obligations to identify and assess bribery and corruption risks, but we are nonetheless active in this area. During 2012 the BBA will be undertaking separate work in relation to wider bribery and corruption risks, including the issue surrounding corrupt Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

In order to ensure the UK’s anti-bribery system is proportionate and effective, an ongoing and frank dialogue between the government, regulators and the private sector will be essential. The BBA was pleased to contribute to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the Act and the accompanying guidance and we will continue to proactively engage with the authorities on behalf of our members so that the views of the banking sector can inform future policy making.