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FCPA and UK Bribery Act Risks Facing Financial Institutions

The financial crisis increased regulatory scrutiny both from an investigative and a legislative perspective. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating financial institutions for violations of securities laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money laundering rules, and similar regulations. Although financial institutions historically have not been targets of FCPA enforcement, lending practices and management of certain financial instruments can lead to liability, especially in this heightened regulatory and enforcement environment. Accordingly, financial institutions must institute anti-bribery compliance programs, consistent with the recommended government standards and building off of their current anti-money laundering procedures, to avoid falling prey to this complex regulatory framework.

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