G4S reaches proposed deferred prosecution agreement with SFO


A U.K. subsidiary of G4S has reached a proposed deferred prosecution agreement with the Serious Fraud Office to resolve an investigation into fraudulent contract activity with the U.K. Ministry of Justice.


Grant Thornton UK fined $2.4M for ethical, independence failures


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council fined Grant Thornton £1.95 million (U.S. $2.4 million) for firmwide ethical and independence failures concerning an audit of alcohol retailer Conviviality Retail.

United Kingdom

Will U.K. mandate that Big Four separate audit units make a difference?


The FRC hopes its demand that the Big Four isolate their audit units from their other businesses by 2024 will improve their ethical behavior … but some are skeptical.


Wirecard scandal will have cascading impact on Germany’s audit, regulatory landscape


Wirecard already is shaping up to be to Germany what Enron was to the United States: An accounting oversight failure so epic in its scope and scale that its aftermath is likely to forever alter the country’s auditing and accounting profession as it exists today.


In time of crisis, Wirecard has turned to its would-be CCO to lead


Reeling from a $2 billion accounting scandal, Wirecard has turned to its would-be chief compliance officer as its interim CEO. It’s the first smart move the company has made in a while, writes Martin Woods.


Ireland’s GDPR report shows it’s yet to hold Big Tech accountable


The Irish Data Protection Commission review of its GDPR investigations has come under fire for ignoring Big Tech and lacking information pertinent to inquiries into firms like Apple, Facebook, Google, and more.

Accounting fraud

FRC to probe EY, PwC audits of London Capital & Finance


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has commenced three investigations into the audits of collapsed investment firm London Capital & Finance, including audits carried out by Big Four firms EY and PwC.


EC report: More harmonization needed in GDPR efforts


The European Commission believes the General Data Protection Regulation is an “overall success” but points to harmonization among member states as an area for improvement.


Lessons from Wirecard: Ignore unchallenged allegations at your peril


When a company does not rebut serious allegations of wrongdoing with litigation, the only response is to demand answers from the firm or take your business elsewhere, writes financial crime expert Martin Woods.


Swiss AG latest investigating Glencore for corruption


Glencore is under criminal investigation by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland over corruption allegations, adding to the growing list of scrutiny the multinational commodity trading and mining company is facing.


French court upholds Google’s $57M GDPR fine


The top administrative court in France shot down Google’s appeal of a €50 million (U.S. $57 million) fine the tech giant received last year for violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.


FCA fines Commerzbank London $47.4M for AML failures


Commerzbank London will pay a £37.8 million (U.S. $47.4 million) penalty in a settlement with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority for anti-money laundering systems and controls failures.


FRC sanctions KPMG for audit failings of Foresight 4 VCT


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council imposed non-financial sanctions on KPMG related to audit failures concerning the financial statements of investment firm Foresight 4 VCT for fiscal years ending 2013, 2014, and 2015.


FCA fines Lloyds $80M for mistreating mortgage customers


A group of prominent U.K. banks—Lloyds chief among them—is facing a £64 million (U.S. $80 million) fine for unfair treatment of mortgage customers from 2011-2015.


Danske faces criminal complaint over market abuse violations


Denmark’s financial regulator has filed a criminal complaint against Danske Bank for violating market abuse regulations concerning inadequate market monitoring and opposite trades.


EDPB task force to probe TikTok privacy practices


The European Data Protection Board will establish a task force to acquire a more comprehensive overview of TikTok’s privacy practices and coordinate any potential actions against the company.


KPMG cites internal control weaknesses in BT Group review


KPMG, in conducting an independent review of BT Group, has expressed the telecommunications company “did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting” following its accounting fraud scandal.

Tesco Stores

FRC strikes out again as third Tesco probe ends


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has ended its third and final investigation into the Tesco accounting scandal, yet again failing to find anyone responsible for the overstating of £250 million (U.S. $317.5 million) in profits.


Europol launches new financial and economic crime body


Europol has created the new European Financial and Economic Crime Center, with the aim of enhancing operational support to EU member states and EU bodies in the fields of financial and economic crime.


EDPB challenges Hungary’s GDPR suspension under Article 23


The European Data Protection Board will issue guidelines on the implementation of Article 23 of the GDPR after Hungary’s government used the article to suspend data subject rights until the end of its coronavirus state of emergency.


Ericsson appoints DOJ-mandated compliance monitor


Ericsson announced the appointment of Andreas Pohlmann as its independent compliance monitor for the next three years in accordance with a deferred prosecution agreement reached with the Department of Justice over FCPA violations.


Investigation into EY’s audit of Danske Bank dropped


Denmark’s state prosecutor has dropped its investigation into whether Big Four firm EY violated anti-money laundering laws in connection with its audit of Danske Bank.


Analysis: VW ‘deliberately immoral’ ruling pushes governance lessons


A look at a recent court case against car manufacturer Volkswagen once again places the company in the spotlight but, perhaps more importantly, offers some lessons in how to live up to shareholder expectations of good governance that protects their investment.


Two years in, GDPR defined by mixed signals, unbalanced enforcement


It’s been two years since the EU’s GDPR went into effect, and we still don’t know how lingering questions about compliance—as well as non-compliance—will be answered going forward.


SFO closes bribery investigation into ABB


The U.K. Serious Fraud Office closed its bribery investigation into power and automation technology provider ABB after concluding the case “did not meet the relevant test for prosecution.”


FRC probes KPMG, PwC over audits of Eddie Stobart Logistics


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has launched investigations into Big Four firms KPMG and PwC concerning the audits of U.K. logistics company Eddie Stobart Logistics.

Artificial intelligence

Six things CCOs need to know about ICO’s AI guidance


The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office released guidance to help organizations explain how AI is used in decision making and how the technology uses personal data to form judgments.


Longtime holdout Ireland issues first GDPR fine


Child and family agency Tusla has become the first company to receive a fine from the Irish Data Protection Commission for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation.


Analysis: Fraud in Germany propels new European AML plan


Financial crime expert Martin Woods reviews the “cum-ex” scandal and how a recent action plan from the European Banking Authority aims to help stop such schemes from burgeoning.


EC unveils six-point plan to tackle money laundering


The European Commission’s new six-point plan highlights what measures the agency will take to enforce, supervise, and coordinate EU rules on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

KPMG building

KPMG faces $306M negligence claim over Carillion audit


U.K. government liquidators are preparing to sue KPMG for £250 million (U.S. $306 million) over alleged negligence in its audits of collapsed construction firm Carillion.


Dutch DPA probing TikTok over children’s privacy


The Dutch Data Protection Authority has launched an investigation into popular social networking service TikTok over whether children’s privacy is being adequately protected.


Amazon shuttered in France over COVID-19 emergency costs


E-commerce giant Amazon has shut up shop in France because the cost of compliance with the country’s COVID-19 emergency measures is deemed to be too high.

Privacy officer

Can a CCO be a DPO? Belgian data authority not so sure


A recent ruling out of Belgium throws water onto the idea that the head of audit, risk, or compliance at a company can also serve as data protection officer as required by the GDPR.


EY audit of NMC Health under investigation


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has opened an investigation into EY’s audit of the 2018 financial statements of NMC Health, which is currently under investigation for accounting fraud.

EU shop closed

European regulators warn coronavirus villains will be punished … eventually


While EU regulators have not engaged in investigations yet or launched many (or any) coronavirus-related enforcement actions, lawyers warn they will do so later down the line and believe they will tackle “worst offenders” first.


Tech firm: GDPR ‘in danger of failing’ due to lack of resources


A new report says Europe’s data protection regulators don’t have the skills, knowledge, or budget to effectively enforce such privacy rules as the GDPR.


EDPB aims to clarify app development needs in coronavirus battle


The European Data Protection Board has released guidelines that aim to help app developers and regulators process individuals’ health data without compromising their privacy under such regulations as the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive.


Analysis: EY now faces questions of trust


In the case of Amjad Rihan versus EY, a question of trust has opened a can of worms. Financial crime expert Martin Woods explores.


Analysis: EY brand takes beating in case vs. whistleblower


What does the Amjad Rihan case do to the brand of EY and, more pointedly, those who spend time with EY as clients? Financial crime expert Martin Woods offers his take.


Coronavirus could further stall BA, Marriott GDPR fines


Record-setting proposed penalties announced by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office last year against British Airways and Marriott for violations of the GDPR may continue to linger amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


U.K. court orders EY to pay $11M to whistleblower, a former partner


A former EY partner who blew the whistle on a massive money laundering scheme was awarded nearly $11 million by a U.K. judge, settling a lawsuit in which he claimed EY buried an audit that uncovered wrongdoing by a client.

Europe coronavirus

Don’t count on European regulators to relax rules during coronavirus crisis


European businesses may be putting themselves at risk because they mistakenly believe regulators are prepared to loosen the rules so companies can operate more easily as the coronavirus pandemic lingers on.

Tesco Stores

SFO: Tesco concludes three-year DPA for accounting scandal


The U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced British supermarket chain Tesco Stores has fulfilled the terms of its 2017 deferred prosecution agreement resulting from an accounting fraud scandal.

Money laundering

Study: Europe blows U.S. away in financial crime spending


A new report found financial institutions spent $181 billion on financial crime compliance worldwide last year, with European firms spending three to four times more than their counterparts in North America.


FRC sanctions KPMG, former senior partner for audit failings


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has reprimanded and fined KPMG and one of its former senior partners for a failure to exercise “sufficient professional skepticism” and for failure to obtain “sufficient appropriate audit evidence.”


Standard Chartered fined $24.9M for Ukraine sanctions breaches


The U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation hit Standard Chartered Bank for a record fine relating to loans the bank made to Russian financial institutions in violation of the EU’s sanction regime.


Swedish regulator delays SEB money laundering probe


Sweden’s financial regulator announced it will wait until June to conclude its money laundering investigation into Scandinavian Enskilda Banken AB (SEB) due to the coronavirus pandemic.


8 compliance challenges facing European companies in coronavirus crisis


Due diligence, data, solvency, and supply chain management risks are just some of the issues Europe’s employers are struggling with as normal business has come to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic.


Swedbank cuts ex-CEO’s severance following AML probe


Swedbank has canceled the severance pay of its former CEO and accepted a record fine of 4 billion Swedish Krona (U.S. $390 million) in the wake of the findings of an independent investigation into its anti-money laundering deficiencies.