Insurer fined £315k for corruption control failures

The Financial Conduct Authority has fined insurance broker Besso Limited £315,000 for failings in its bribery and corruption controls.

Specifically, the regulator found Besso had a “weak control environment” surrounding the sharing of commissions with third parties, which meant they could potentially be used for corrupt purposes, the regulator said.

Besso’s failings occurred between January 2005 and November 2009. The FCA said Besso failed to carry out due diligence on third parties to evaluate the risks involved in doing business with them, or to review its relationships with third parties on a regular basis.

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It also failed to establish and record an adequate commercial rationale for making payments to third parties, and did not ensure staff were recording a commercial rationale and conducting due diligence when working with third parties.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: “Despite receiving two visits from us, and numerous industry-wide warnings, Besso failed to ensure that they had proper systems and controls in place to counter the risks of bribery and corruption in their business activities.”

Because the insurer agreed to an early settlement it qualified for a 30 per cent discount on its fine, which would otherwise have been £450,000.