United Kingdom

Topic: Enforcement

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UK Government to develop a code of practice to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace

In December 2018, the UK Government announced that it will introduce a new statutory code of practice to tackle workplace sexual harassment following a July 2018 report from the House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Select Committee (the Committee). The Committee’s report called on the Government to: Prioritise sexual harassment: The report calls on the … Continue Reading

UK Government confirms that public beneficial ownership registers will be established in the British Overseas Territories by 2023

On 28 January 2019, the UK Government (the Government) explained the timetable to the new 2023 deadline for the creation of public beneficial ownership registers in the British Overseas Territories (BOTs). The Government has explained that draft legislation will be prepared by the end of 2020, as required by the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act … Continue Reading

France, Germany and UK launch INSTEX to facilitate European trade with Iran

In a joint statement on 31 January 2019, France, Germany and the UK (together, E3) announced the creation of a payment channel SPV (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, INSTEX) to offer European companies a settlement option in relation to their Iranian business activities. INSTEX aims to facilitate legitimate trade between European companies and Iran, focusing … Continue Reading

Forbes and Just Capital rank America’s largest publicly traded companies based on the ethical priorities of 81,000 Americans

890 of America’s largest publicly-traded companies have recently been ranked based on priorities gathered from polling 81,000 Americans.  The poll, coordinated by Just Capital, asked participants what they most wanted to see from the nation’s biggest businesses.  The most popular responses were that participants wanted companies to: pay workers fairly; treat customers well and protect … Continue Reading

The UK Government releases second interim report as part of the review of the Modern Slavery Act

On 22 January 2019, the UK Government (the Government) published its second interim report as part of the Independent Review (the Review) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act), which began in July 2018 (see our previous blogpost). This is the second report for phase 1 of the Review, and it focuses on transparency … Continue Reading

Draft Business and Human Rights Treaty – impact for businesses and states

In July 2018, the United Nations’ intergovernmental working group on business and human rights released the first official draft of a proposed binding international treaty on business and human rights (the Treaty). Key features of the Treaty The key provisions of the Treaty are as follows: Scope: The Treaty applies to human rights violations in … Continue Reading

UK Government releases year 1 update on its Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022

The UK Government (the Government) has recently published the first update on its Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-22 (the Strategy). The Strategy seeks to provide a framework to guide the Government’s anti-corruption policies and actions with a particular focus on economic crime. It provides a set of objectives covering a number of different areas, including bribery and … Continue Reading

Wolfsberg Group publishes new guidance on how FIs should carry out sanctions screening

On 21 January 2019, the Wolfsberg Group published new guidance on how financial institutions (FIs) should carry out sanctions screening. The fundamentals of the guidance are derived from legal/regulatory requirements, as well as expectations and global industry best practice. It is not intended to suggest that all FIs should apply all elements in the guidance … Continue Reading

CHRB report assesses the human rights standards of 101 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies

Major international companies in the agricultural, clothing and extractive industries have recently been assessed in respect of human rights standards in their businesses and supply chains. The 2018 Key Findings Report issued by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) was released on 12 November 2018. The report scored 101 of the largest publicly traded companies … Continue Reading

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre assesses FTSE 100 companies’ compliance with the Modern Slavery Act

In November 2018, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre released its third annual assessment of FTSE 100 companies’ modern slavery disclosure under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA). The MSA, requires companies with a turnover of not less than £36 million to produce an annual statement outlining the steps they have taken … Continue Reading

Link between money laundering and human trafficking (estimated to generate c.US$150bn of criminal proceeds annually) explored in new report by FATF and APG

Earlier this year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) together with the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) published a report analysing the financial flows associated with human trafficking. The report: summarises indicators of financial transactions that are laundering the proceeds of human trafficking (e.g. multiple wages being paid into one account, rapid in/out … Continue Reading

The European Commission has published a recommendation in relation to compliance with the guidelines to the Conflict Minerals Regulation

Earlier this year, the European Commission published a recommendation in relation to the non-binding guidelines for the identification of conflict-affected and high risk areas and other supply chain risks under the new Conflict Minerals Regulation.[1] The Conflict Minerals Regulation, which will apply from 1 January 2021, lays down supply chain due diligence obligations for importers of … Continue Reading

Modern Slavery Act 2015 under review

Earlier this year, the Home Office announced its plan to launch an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Led by Frank Field MP, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Maria Miller MP, the independent review aims to strengthen the UK’s ongoing response and accelerate progress from the government and businesses in eradicating modern slavery. This review … Continue Reading

Lloyd’s of London announces that it does not consider insuring Canadian cannabis risks a breach of UK money laundering legislation

The production of recreational cannabis was legalised in Canada in October 2018. As a consequence, UK corporates and financial institutions wishing to invest or be involved in activity relating to Canadian cannabis businesses face a real obstacle: doing so could technically constitute a criminal offence under UK money laundering legislation (see our previous blog here). … Continue Reading

The Bribery Act 2010 – post legislative scrutiny almost seven years later

The UK Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) is currently undergoing post-legislative scrutiny, the process for which was set out by the Government in 2008. In June 2018, the Ministry of Justice published a memorandum which scrutinises the Act almost seven years after it was first enacted. The memorandum provides a useful insight into the scope, implementation … Continue Reading

Speech by Lisa Osofsky, Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office

In September 2018, Lisa Osofsky delivered her first speech as the new Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office. In a wide-ranging speech she focused on three key areas: Increasing the SFO’s collaboration with UK agencies and agencies from other jurisdictions (and in particular, the NCA, HMRC, FCA and agencies from the US, France, Argentina, Canada and Australia) … Continue Reading

Camilla de Silva: corporate criminal liability, DPAs, AI and privilege

Earlier this year, Camilla de Silva, the Joint Head of Bribery and Corruption of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) gave a speech on: the future of corporate criminal liability; the SFO’s considerations when entering into a DPA; use of AI to assist with disclosure; and how the SFO will deal with privileged material going forward. Corporate criminal … Continue Reading

Potential impacts of the EU Blocking Statute

What is the EU Blocking Statute? Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 (as amended) (the Blocking Statute) is designed to counter specified third-country extra-territorial sanctions on “EU operators”, which includes EU nationals, any natural person resident in the EU and EU-incorporated companies.  In short, the Blocking Statute seeks to protect EU operators engaging in lawful international … Continue Reading

FCA review of firms’ whistleblowing arrangements

The FCA has finalised its review of how firms have implemented its whistleblowing rules, which became effective from September 2016 (the Rules). A copy of the review can be found here. The review, which focused on a range of retail and wholesale banks, found that the Rules had helped to ensure that firms implemented whistleblowing arrangements … Continue Reading

UK High Court rules on sanctions exclusion clause and comments on the interpretation of the EU Blocking Regulation

In a judgment recently handed down by the High Court (available here), it was held that the defendant  insurance companies were liable to pay an insurance claim under a marine insurance contract relating to the theft of certain cargo shipments when in Iran, provided such payment be made before the re-imposition of applicable US secondary … Continue Reading

Bank forced to turn over SARs in data protection dispute

In a judgment recently published by the High Court (available here), a claimant has been granted the right to inspect suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by his bank. The Court made the order in interlocutory proceedings brought in the course of an individual’s claim against his bank for breach of contract, breach of the Data … Continue Reading

Banking and finance disputes review

Norton Rose Fulbright has published the latest edition of the Banking and finance disputes review, the journal which analyses developments in dispute resolution relevant to financial institutions. Innovation in financial technology is set to transform the delivery of financial services. In this edition, we consider disputes that may arise out of new technology and the … Continue Reading

SFO confirms that it will not appeal decision on privilege in internal investigations

The SFO has this week confirmed that it will not appeal the Court of Appeal’s recent decision addressing, in particular, fundamental issues as to the ambit of litigation privilege in investigations (ENRC v SFO [2018] EWCA Civ 2006). A more detailed summary of the case and its practical implications is available here. The decision of the … Continue Reading

FCA bans Christian Bittar in relation to Euribor submission requests without imposing an additional fine

The FCA has prohibited Christian Bittar, a former derivatives trader of products referenced to Euribor at a global bank, from all controlled functions for seeking to manipulate Euribor. The FCA refrained from imposing an additional financial penalty on the basis that the Crown Court had sentenced Mr Bittar to 5 years and 4 months in prison … Continue Reading