The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has confirmed that it plans, for the first time, to move towards a US-style system where businesses can self-report corruption issues and then negotiate a settlement seeking leniency. The Times Online reports that the SFO says it will use civil penalties such as fines “wherever possible” instead of criminal sanctions.
According to Tom Stocker, a director at law firm McGrigors,
“This is a significant development for the SFO. A move towards negotiated – and mostly civil – settlements has been on the cards for a while but this is the first time the SFO has actually confirmed its commitment on paper and detailed how it is going to work.”
Mr. Stocker believed the move would lead to greater self-reporting from UK businesses.