Britain a dangerous place to do business, OECD to warn
Britain is a dangerous place to do business with weak anti-corruption laws, a group representing the developed world is to declare, according to reports.
By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 11:28AM BST 17 Oct 2008
The anti-bribery group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – which comprises 30 leading democracies – is preparing to mount a fierce criticism of Britain.
Its attack comes following the Government’s decision to abandon an investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in its dealings with Saudi Arabia on the grounds of national security.
The OECD is to warn foreign companies that doing business in Britain should come with a health warning because even when anti-bribery laws are enforced, they are lax, according to the Financial Times.
Companies should take special precautions when dealing in Britain because they face a substantial risk of becoming entangled in corruption, the group will say.
The body’s conclusions follow a strongly-worded letter it sent to the Government during the summer. It complained that Britain had failed repeatedly to update its anti-corruption laws, despite having pledged to do so for years. Britain has failed to take action over a single case of overseas bribery, the letter added.
The group is to warn that Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is also set to focus even less on its duty to tackle corruption overseas in favour of more regular commercial crime.