The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation into allegations of "fraud, bribery and corruption" in the civil aviation business of Airbus.
The allegations relate to the behaviour of third party consultants. Four months ago, the UK authorities froze export credit applications by Airbus, which says it is cooperating with the authorities.
Whatever the outcome of this investigation, it has already proved harmful to the reputation and trading ability of Airbus. Investigations in recent years involving major companies such as Rolls-Royce and GSK have shown how bribery allegations made anywhere and from any time period can be damaging.
If the Airbus case teaches us anything, it is yet another forceful reminder of the need to have strong, worldwide anti-corruption procedures in place. Such procedures have to be devised and introduced by those with a firm knowledge of business crime legislation.