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FSA imposes largest fine ever to Aon for ’suspicious payments’

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by Kay Mitchell

The Financial Service Authority (FSA) has fined the UK arm of the insurance broking group, Aon, £5.25 million for ‘suspicious payments‘.

Aon, the UK subsidiary of Aon Corporation of the US, has made 66 suspicious payments worth $7 million (£4.6 million) to people and firms overseas to help it win or retain business overseas.

The countries were Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Indonesia and Vietnam, and the payments were reported to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The payments were made between January 2005 and September 2007.

According to the FSA, the fine would have been £7.5 million but due to Aon’s full co-operation, a lesser fine was imposed.

The FSA said that Aon’s behaviour was not deliberate or reckless but its internal controls had prevented staff making payments that might be bribes to gain business overseas.

Margaret Cole of the FSA said the fine should be a warning to other firms that it is completely unacceptable for companies to conduct business overseas without having anti-bribery and corruption systems in place.

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News posted: January 8, 2009

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