Out of the frying pan

Author: | Published: 11 Jul 2011

After much fanfare and debate, the Bribery Act 2010 finally came into force on July 1 2011. Anyone who does business in the UK is likely to have spent a lot of time over recent months preparing for the introduction of one of the most hotly anticipated pieces of legislation to hit the statute books in some time; but is this really the biggest risk?

A considerable amount has been written about the Act's likely impact and there is no doubt that it will be an important weapon in the armoury of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). However, it is not the only tool available to prosecutors in their fight against bribery and corruption; nor is it the most ferocious. Very little has been said about the existing body of anti-money laundering laws which already place onerous obligations on individuals and businesses throughout the UK.

Ignoring those laws in a...