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Standard Bank PLC

Standard Bank PLC (now known as ICBC Standard Bank Plc) (“Standard Bank”), was the subject of an indictment alleging failure to prevent bribery contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. This indictment, pursuant to DPA proceedings, was immediately suspended on 30 November 2015. As a result of the DPA, Standard Bank were ordered to pay financial orders of US$25.2 million and required to pay the Government of Tanzania a further US$7 million in compensation. The bank also agreed to pay the SFO’s reasonable costs of £330,000 in relation to the investigation and subsequent resolution of the DPA.

The suspended charge related to a US$6 million payment by a former sister company of Standard Bank, Stanbic Bank Tanzania, in March 2013 to a local partner in Tanzania, Enterprise Growth Market Advisors (EGMA). The SFO alleged that the payment was intended to induce members of the Government of Tanzania, to show favour to Stanbic Tanzania and Standard Bank’s proposal for a US$600 million private placement to be carried out on behalf of the Government of Tanzania. The placement generated transaction fees of US$8.4 million, shared by Stanbic Tanzania and Standard Bank. Standard Bank agreed to continue to cooperate fully with the SFO and to be subject to an independent review of its existing anti-bribery and corruption controls, policies and procedures regarding compliance with the Bribery Act 2010 and other applicable anti-corruption laws. It is required to implement recommendations of the independent reviewer (Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP).

This landmark case saw the UK’s first DPA and use of section 7 in the Bribery Act 2010 by any prosecutor.

Deferred Prosecution Agreement

For full details of the terms please see the Deferred Prosecution Agreement – SFO v ICBC SB PLC, the Deferred Prosecution Agreement – Statement of Facts – SFO v ICBC SB PLC, details of compliance, the preliminary judgment and full judgment regarding the agreement.

Conclusion of the DPA

On 30 November 2018, the SFO announced the end of the DPA, confirming that Standard Bank PLC (now known as ICBC Standard Bank PLC) had fully complied with its terms. More information can be found in this press release.

Payment update

The SFO wishes to thank the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and HM Treasury for their assistance in arranging for the payment of $7m to be made to the government of Tanzania, which took place in May 2016. More widely, the SFO is working with these departments and other UK organisations to develop a process for making similar compensation payments and other financial settlements to affected states in foreign bribery and international corruption cases safely and transparently.

Page published on 10 Dec 2015 | Page modified on 17 May 2021