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The London-based ICBC Standard Bank Plc is the first company to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in the UK

1 December 2015

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According to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the DPA has been approved in principle by a senior judge, Brian Leveson. Final approval to the DPA was given at a London court hearing on November 30.

DPA’s involve a company charged with wrongdoing having legal proceedings suspended in exchange for accepting a range of sanctions that can be a fine, payment of compensation or monitoring. Introduced last year, DPA’s can help prosecutors who may find it hard to obtain a conviction due to the cost and complexity of an investigation.

ICBC Standard Bank specialises in global commodities, fixed income, currencies and equities. Under the DPA, it is obliged to pay a total of £21.4M in fines after admitting paying $6M in bribes to Tanzanian officials.

The SFO has said it expects to secure two other DPA’s this year. It will be interesting to see if the DPA gathers momentum in the UK in 2016.

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