The settlement means the engineering giant will avoid being prosecuted by anti-corruption investigators in the UK, US and Brazil. But individual executives may still be charged.
This settlement, which is a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), comes five years after investigators first began examining claims that the multinational firm had paid bribes. Investigations had identified 12 countries in which Rolls-Royce had hired “commercial agents” or advisers to help it secure high-value contracts.
Rolls-Royce will pay £497m to the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), subject to approval by the high court. It will also pay £140m in penalties to the US Department of Justice and $25m to the Brazilian authorities.
While Rolls-Royce would obviously rather not pay the penalties, the sums involved could have been higher if they had not cooperated with the authorities; enabling them to obtain a DPA. The case is a warning about the true costs of bribery and the need to prevent it. But it also shows how a DPA can be in a company’s best interests – and how their cooperation can help them obtain one.
Rolls-Royce will pay £671M under a deferred prosecution agreement to settle claims it used bribery to gain export contracts. This is the latest and most high-profile DPA. It shows what a company can obtain if it negotiates shrewdly with investigating authorities.
Rolls-Royce reaches £671M deferred prosecution agreement over bribery claims. Shrewd outcome but still costly.