Practical insights for compliance and ethics professionals and commentary on the intersection of compliance and culture.

Round-up on compliance investigation and enforcement trends

Keeping up to date on developments in compliance investigation and enforcement priorities is important for planning compliance programs and setting strategic agendas. In a constantly changing regulatory environment, continuing education is a must. Recent developments suggest that regulators are regrouping and preparing new priorities, while companies are trying to contend with regulations and avoid looming legal challenges.

  • Prosecution of white-collar criminals is at an all-time low as some companies appear to be considered “too big to jail” and risk-adverse trial strategy rules the day:  Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail
  • Airbnb, possibly setting precedent for other “shared economy” companies without traditional regulatory compliance frameworks, looks to pre-emptively contend with legal challenges by striking deals with municipalities:  Airbnb Tries to Clear Away Political and Legal Challenges in New York and San Francisco
  • The ECJ may declare Uber a transportation company later this year, opening the tech giant to much stricter regulatory scrutiny; in anticipation, Uber has withdrawn from some EU member states where the regulatory burden already overwhelms its appetite for the market: Europe’s Top Court Leaning Towards Dealing Uber a Big Regulatory Blow
  • HSBC, amidst negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice as it is under investigation for its role in the bond market pre-2008 crisis, is concerned over regulatory gaps in the global financial market that may be unpredictably fragmented by Brexit, in which cooperation between regulators and investigators could become more problematic:  HSBC chief sounds alarm over financial regulation and Brexit
  • Amid mounting prosecutorial pressure and investigation efforts worldwide, a guilty plea and cooperation from ex-Credit Suisse Banker:  Ex-Credit Suisse Banker Helping U.S. After Tax Guilty Plea
  • Scandal at Wells Fargo continues to unfurl its tentacles into new areas of the bank’s business, now reaching into auto loan customers who were charged for unauthorized car insurance; previous attempts at punishment or reform now seem insufficient in light of the scope and scale of the wrongdoing, upping the ante on what is considered justice in corporate crime:  Give Wells Fargo the Corporate Death Penalty

This summer’s trends indicate diminished enforcement efforts, regulators regroup and try to ascertain a new approach to holding corporate criminals accountable for their ethical lapses, in light of previous attempts failing to adequately discourage wrongdoers. In the meantime, companies finding themselves cornered by regulatory pressures hope to gain time to comply or the blessing to continue as-is by negotiating agreements or reaching settlements with regulators.