Global Corruption Enforcement Becomes Focus of U.S. Foreign Policy

CFO Magazine
6 minute read | May.20.2015

The recent surge in enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has now reared its head on Wall Street with an aggressive anti-bribery investigation into several large banks. While this specific inquiry focuses on allegations that banks are giving jobs to relatives of well-connected Chinese government officials, one cannot help but get the impression that there's more at play here than just a few questionable hires.

If recent comments out of Washington are any indication, the driving force behind FCPA enforcement is much bigger than any single bribery case. Increasingly, the U.S. government is wielding the FCPA as a tool to change corrupt cultures in other countries. If the government follows through—and there is every sign that it will—on its recent suggestions that anti-corruption efforts in other countries are meant in part to strengthen national security, U.S. corporations and listed companies would do well to redouble their efforts to comply with the FCPA.