Credit Suisse has become the latest financial institution to pay a penalty for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act concerning questionable hiring practices.
Credit Suisse Hong Kong said it will pay a $47 million penalty and enter a non-prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice concerning its hiring practices in the Asia Pacific region. “No criminal charges have been brought,” the company stated.
In February 2018, Credit Suisse Group said that it had been responding to requests from “certain governmental and regulatory authorities” concerning potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act regarding its hiring practices in the Asia Pacific region between 2007 and 2013.
Specifically, the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission were investigating “whether Credit Suisse hired referrals from government agencies and other state-owned entities in exchange for investment banking business and/or regulatory approvals Credit Suisse,” the company said in an earnings release.
In a statement released on June 6, Credit Suisse said since 2013, it “has implemented numerous enhancements to its compliance and controls function, and it remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair business practices in every jurisdiction in which it operates.”
Credit Suisse is not the only company to resolve an FCPA case for questionable hiring practices:
In March 2016, digital telecommunications maker Qualcomm reached a $7.5 million settlement with the SEC to resolve FCPA charges for hiring relatives of officials at government-owned telecom companies in China.
In November 2016, JPMorgan Chase paid $264 million in FCPA penalties for giving jobs and internships to the relatives and friends of government officials employees of state-owned enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region to win business.
In August 2015, Bank of New York Mellon paid $14.8 million to the SEC to settle FCPA charges for providing internships to relatives of foreign officials of a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund to retain and win business managing and servicing the wealth fund’s assets.
Other banks that disclosed FCPA-related investigations based on hiring practices—in Asia and elsewhere—include Citigroup, Barclays, HSBC Holdings, Goldman Sachs Group, and Deutsche Bank.