In 2024, businesses across the UK, EU, and US are prioritizing strict compliance, particularly in anti-corruption and anti-bribery measures. The UK leads with its robust Bribery Act and a cultural shift towards integrity, as businesses implement systems like ISO 37001 ABMS. The EU integrates compliance across its member states with directives focusing on corporate sustainability, while the US enforces anti-corruption laws through the FCPA, with businesses embedding ABMS in core strategies. This global trend underscores a commitment to ethical business conduct and transparency, essential in maintaining competitive advantage in the international market.
Emerging Trends in Corporate Compliance and Ethics for 2024
Increased Regulatory Scrutiny
The FEPA and FCPA are just the tip of the iceberg. We anticipate heightened enforcement actions and closer scrutiny by regulatory bodies.
- Financial Crime Reform
In 2024, the UK introduced major financial crime regulation reforms through ECCTA, including a new FTPF Offense and changes to corporate criminal liability rules.
- SFO’s Focus
Questions arise about whether the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will fully utilize its new powers and shift its focus from bribery to major fraud cases, given the rise in fraud offenses.
- Operational Improvements
The SFO aims to address operational challenges, including staffing issues and enhancing disclosure processes, while also collaborating with other law enforcement agencies.
- Global Cooperation in Enforcement
Cross-border cooperation in enforcement will likely increase, making international compliance more complex but crucial.
- Rise of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Criteria:
Companies will increasingly adopt ESG criteria as a core part of their business strategies, reflecting a growing focus on sustainability, social responsibility, and governance ethics.
- Adoption of Blockchain for Transparency:
Blockchain technology will be more widely used to enhance transparency in supply chains and financial transactions, helping combat fraud and corruption.
- Emphasis on Cybersecurity in Compliance:
As businesses digitize their operations, there will be an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect sensitive data and comply with data protection regulations.
- Expansion of Anti-Corruption Training Programs:
Businesses will invest more in training employees on anti-corruption practices, emphasizing the importance of ethical behavior and compliance.
- Customization of Compliance Programs:
There will be a move towards more tailored compliance programs that suit the specific risks and needs of each organization, rather than one-size-fits-all solutions.
- Dynamic Regulatory Technology (RegTech):
Adoption of RegTech solutions will increase to manage the rapidly changing regulatory environment efficiently and effectively.
- AI-driven Compliance and Monitoring Systems:
Leveraging AI for predictive risk modeling and real-time compliance monitoring will become more prevalent, offering sophisticated ways to prevent corruption.
The Evolving Legal Landscape
The FEPA, part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2024, marks a significant shift in the legal framework, targeting the “demand” side of foreign bribery. This law criminalizes solicitation or demand for bribery payments by foreign officials from U.S. entities. It extends the purview of the FCPA, which historically focused on penalizing U.S. entities offering bribes to foreign officials. These legal changes indicate a broader crackdown on corruption and bribery, both domestically and internationally.
Businesses Who Suffered Great Losses in 2023 Due To Non-Compliance
- Albermarle Corporation agreed to resolve FCPA anti-bribery allegations related to its operations in India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and FCPA accounting violations in China and the UAE, agreeing to disgorge approximately $218 million and pay additional penalties.
- Exelon and its subsidiary, ComEd, agreed to pay $46 million to resolve FCPA accounting charges related to an alleged domestic bribery scheme intended to influence the then-Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.
- Frank’s International NV settled FCPA violations for bribing Angolan officials through a sales agent, agreeing to pay $8 million to the SEC.
Corporate Strategies for Compliance Risks Mitigation in 2024
Considering the evolving landscape in the anti-corruption and anti-bribery domain worldwide, along with the potential repercussions of non-compliance, it’s essential for businesses to proactively adapt and enhance their strategies to effectively mitigate risks. Key steps include:
Integrating Anti-Corruption Policies
Establishing a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and embedding this ethos into company culture is crucial. This not only involves policy formulation but also ensuring these policies are well-communicated and understood at all organizational levels.
Enhanced Due Diligence
With the DOJ’s new policy providing protections for acquiring companies that disclose and remediate pre-acquisition misconduct, due diligence in mergers and acquisitions becomes even more critical.
Regular Risk Assessment
Continuously evaluate and adapt compliance measures to address evolving legal standards and business contexts.
Effective Policy Implementation
Clearly define anti-corruption goals and ensure their thorough implementation across the company, including the supply chain.
Ongoing Monitoring and Measurement
Regularly track the effectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives to identify improvement areas and adapt strategies accordingly.
Maintain open channels of communication about anti-corruption efforts with stakeholders to foster a culture of transparency and accountability.
Legal and Policy Updates
Stay updated with changes in anti-corruption laws and policies, such as the recent policy changes announced by the DOJ in 2023, which include revisions to the Corporate Enforcement Policy and Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs.
CRI Group’s Advanced Compliance and Risk Mitigation Services
CRI Group™ offers a suite of specialized services designed to assist businesses in navigating the complexities of anti-corruption and anti-bribery compliance in 2024, as well as broader risk management. Our services, aligned with the pressing needs highlighted in this blog post, include:
This service goes beyond basic checks, incorporating a deep analysis of potential employees’ behavior patterns and professional ethics. Advanced vetting techniques, including social media profiling and character references, are employed to provide a holistic view of each candidate. This process not only ensures alignment with your organization’s integrity standards but also contributes to creating a secure and productive workplace environment.
Beyond standard background checks, this service employs a nuanced approach, integrating market trends analysis, political risk assessment, and industry-specific compliance requirements. This comprehensive evaluation provides a strategic insight into potential partners’ business resilience and adaptability, ensuring long-term alignment with your company’s growth and risk management strategies.
This extended service includes an in-depth analysis of third-party business continuity plans and ethical practices. It also involves scrutinizing their data security measures and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) compliance, ensuring that their operational standards meet your organization’s stringent requirements for sustainability and ethical conduct.
This service offers a multi-faceted approach to protecting intellectual property. It includes not only identifying and investigating potential infringements but also providing strategic guidance on IP management and protection. Advanced surveillance technologies and global market watch services are employed to monitor and quickly respond to any unauthorized use of your intellectual assets, ensuring your innovations and creative works are safeguarded against infringement or counterfeit activities.
This comprehensive service extends beyond establishing a framework. It includes regular AML audits, training programs for employees, and the integration of cutting-edge technology for monitoring financial transactions. The service ensures adherence to the latest AML regulations and guidelines, providing your organization with the tools needed to effectively identify, assess, and manage money laundering risks, while maintaining ethical standards and safeguarding your reputation.
This in-depth service encompasses a wide range of fraud detection and prevention strategies, including forensic accounting, digital forensics, and employee fraud awareness training. It provides proactive measures such as continuous monitoring systems and fraud risk assessments, ensuring that your organization stays ahead of potential fraudulent activities. The service also includes consultation on implementing effective internal controls and fraud prevention policies, minimizing the risk of fraud and its potential impact on your organization.
This specialized service covers an extensive range of insurance fraud cases, employing sophisticated investigative techniques. It includes analytics-based risk assessment, undercover operations, and digital forensics to uncover deceptive practices in auto, health, life, and property insurance claims. The service is designed to not only identify and investigate fraud but also to assist in legal proceedings and recovery efforts, protecting insurance companies from significant financial losses and reputational damage.
This comprehensive service addresses a wide spectrum of internal and external risks. It includes corporate espionage prevention, internal audits for compliance breaches, and thorough investigations into potential conflicts of interest or unethical behavior. Utilizing both traditional investigative methods and modern digital tools, these solutions are tailored to uncover and address vulnerabilities, safeguarding your business from potential threats.
This service integrates and analyzes data from a variety of external and internal sources, including market trends, customer behavior, and operational efficiency metrics. It offers predictive analytics, trend analysis, and competitor benchmarking, providing actionable insights for strategic decision-making. This holistic approach helps businesses stay ahead of market shifts, optimize operations, and capitalize on new opportunities.
Ready to fortify your organization’s integrity and resilience against risks? Partner with CRI Group™ and benefit from our comprehensive compliance and risk management solutions. Protect your reputation, secure your assets, and ensure ethical conduct in every aspect of your business. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs and embark on a journey towards a more secure and ethical future in 2024.