FSA fines Aon £5.25m for carelessness over corruption
by Gill Montia
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined Aon Limited an astonishing £5.25 million.
The insurer has been found guilty of failing to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems to counter the risks of bribery and corruption associated with making payments to overseas firms and individuals.
Specifically, between 14 January 2005 and 30 September 2007, Aon failed to properly assess the risks involved in its dealings with overseas firms and individuals who helped it win business.
It also failed to implement effective controls to mitigate those risks and made various suspicious payments overseas, amounting to approximately $7 million.
The FSA worked closely with other law enforcement agencies in investigating the case and the regulator’s director of enforcement, Margaret Cole, comments that the fine is the largest so far made in relation to financial crime.
She adds that it sends a clear message to the UK financial services industry that it is unacceptable for firms to conduct business overseas without having in place anti-bribery and corruption systems and controls.
Aon qualified for a 30% discount on the fine for early settlement and the FSA has praised its current senior management, which it says has demonstrated a determination to identify past issues and make improvements that now form a model of best practice that other firms may wish to adopt.