Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
1. As an authorised firm, Earlsfield Capital Partners values its reputation for ethical behaviour and for financial probity and reliability. It recognises that over and above the commission of any crime, any involvement in bribery will also reflect adversely on its image and reputation.y:
- 1.1 Earlsfield Capital Partners (“Earlsfield Capital”, the “Firm”, “we”, “our” or “us”) is subject to regulatory requirements to reduce the extent to which the UK financial system may be used to further financial crime, including bribery and corruption.
- 1.2 The FCA expects us to assess our exposure to bribery and corruption risks, and to establish, implement and maintain policies and procedures to mitigate these risks. The policy statements and procedures set out below establish how Earlsfield Capital seeks to mitigate and manage the risks which are identified in the course of performing that assessment.
- 1.3 Any failure on our part to maintain and adhere to appropriate risk-based anti-bribery and corruption procedures may result in the FCA taking enforcement action against us.
- 1.4 In addition to FCA regulatory requirements, as a UK incorporated firm, Earlsfield Capital is also subject to the requirements of the Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”). The Act applies to individuals, employees and organisations. Any breaches of the provisions of the Act could result in criminal charges. It would also be likely to result in significant reputational damage to our business, and a fall in client confidence leading to a decrease in business.
- 1.5 The Act also applies to all Appointed Representatives.
- 1.6 This policy should be read in conjunction with the guidance from HM Treasury
2. HIGH LEVEL REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE ADHERED TO
Earlsfield Capital is committed to preventing bribery. We have set out below the high-level policies which we expect all relevant persons to abide by:
2.1 Senior management (i.e. the Board of Directors) are ultimately responsible for our anti-bribery stance, but all members of staff and representatives have a role to play in ensuring that bribery is not allowed to take place within our business.
2.2 We will remain aware of the risks associated with bribery and of the legal requirements imposed upon us.
2.3 We will provide regular training (typically annually) to all staff to ensure that they understand how we mitigate the risk of bribery within our business.
2.4 We will review and assess the bribery and corruption risks to our business on an annual basis.
2.5 We will discharge our duties in relation to the prevention of bribery in the clearest possible way and to the highest possible standards.
2.6 The Board take ultimate responsibility for compliance with our anti-bribery policies and procedures and staff awareness of these. All staff have a day-to-day responsibility to act within the procedures.
2.7 We will not accept business from clients or engage with third party suppliers if we have grounds to believe that they may be involved in or linked to any acts of bribery.
2.8 We will perform appropriate and proportionate due diligence on all clients and members of staff and members of staff of third-party suppliers at take-on and on an on-going basis.
2.9 We will regularly communicate our strong anti-bribery stance to staff.
2.10 We will conduct on-going monitoring of our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Procedures and adherence to these to ensure that they remain appropriate and proportionate to our business.
UK Bribery Act 2010
4.1.1 Risk assessment
4.1.2 Risk mitigation through gifts and benefits requirements, recruitment expectations
4.1.4 Reporting suspicions
5.2 Earlsfield Capital has undertaken a bribery and corruption risk assessment considering the following external factors:
5.2.1 the jurisdictions in which we operate;
5.2.2 the jurisdictions in which our clients reside;
5.2.3 the industries in which we operate and/or with which we have links;
5.2.4 the types of transactions we deal in;
5.2.5 the nature of any business partnerships, joint ventures and intermediary partnerships;
5.2.6 the nature of any projects in which we are involved; and
5.2.7 any other risks which we identify as possibly arising in the course of our usual business.
5.2.8 The Firm has also considered relevant internal factors, including:
(a) the provision of staff training and testing of the effectiveness of training;
(b) our remuneration policies, and whether they are likely to result in risk taking being rewarded;
(c) the appropriateness of our corporate gifts and hospitality policy;
(d) the appropriateness of any charitable or political donations which we make as an organisation;
(e) the transparency and effectiveness of our financial controls;
(f) the clarity of message received from senior management with regards to bribery prevention; and
(g) any other relevant internal factors which we may consider to have a bearing on our bribery risk profile.
5.3 The bribery and corruption risk assessment is reviewed on a periodic basis, typically annually, or more frequently in light of any material changes within our business (for example, if we begin to operate in a new, higher-risk jurisdiction or sector).
6.2 Bribery does not have to involve cash or an actual payment exchanging hands and can take many forms such as a gift, lavish treatment during a business trip or tickets to an event. Employees or representatives should report any questionable payments to Compliance.
6.2.2 All staff must obtain approval to receive gifts or entertainment over £200 per person.
6.2.3 All staff must comply with the relevant Travel and Expense Policy applicable to their business when incurring gifts and entertainment related expenses.
6.2.4 Escalate to Compliance any proposed transaction or opportunity that does, or may, present a risk of bribery or corruption or could damage the firm’s reputation.
6.2.5 Immediately report any potential or actual compliance breaches as required by this Policy.
Giving or Receiving
Threshold triggering a declaration/approval requirement to Compliance
>£200 per person
Entertainment / Hospitality
>£200 per person
6.4 Staff are not permitted to offer or accept any inducement if it is likely to conflict to a material extent with any duty that we owe our customers. Also, lavish and repeated entertainment which could be construed as an inducement to use the services of Earlsfield Capital is prohibited. Employees and representatives should also be careful to avoid engaging in any activities which could be construed as offering or receiving a bribe.
6.5 A decision tree is included in Appendix 1 to show the process to be followed.
8.2 Risk of clients accepting bribes: Earlsfield Capital considers the risk of our clients accepting bribes in return for providing access to our services. Nevertheless, we mitigate the reputational risk of doing business with corrupt clients by applying appropriate levels of customer due diligence (‘CDD’) asset out in our Anti-Financial Crime Procedures.
8.3 Risk of clients using our products/services to launder the proceeds of bribery and corruption: Earlsfield Capital is also aware that there is a risk of our customers using our services to launder the proceeds of corruption. You should refer to our Anti-Money Laundering Procedures for details of the PEP checks and enhanced due diligence (‘EDD’)which we may apply to customers on a risk-sensitive basis to mitigate this risk.
8.4 Facilitation Payments: Facilitation payments (otherwise known as ‘grease payments’) are payments to induce officials to perform routine functions they are otherwise obligated to perform.These are not seen by many as being equivalent to large scale corruption and as such are not illegal in certain countries. However, the UK Bribery Act (2010) considers facilitation payment to be illegal. As a result, the firm has zero tolerance for this activity. All requests for facilitation payments must be reported to Compliance.
8.5 Recruitment: Recruitment must be merit based, fair and in keeping with the stringent hiring standards applied for all employees and representatives. Hiring, for paid or unpaid, temporary or permanent roles, must not be used to influence business.
8.6 Staff recruitment and vetting: To mitigate the risk of employees exposing Earlsfield Capital to increased bribery risks, we may undertake checks on new employees including, but not limited to:
New staff (prior to take-on)
• Personal references
• Employment references
• ID checks
• PEP checks
• Sanctions checks
8.7 These checks are mandatory for those who have a Senior Manager designation or those performing certified functions.
8.8 Conditions of employment – new staff: The take-on of new staff will be conditional on the outcome of the above tests (to the extent that they have been undertaken). Where new staff are recruited through employment agencies, we will request evidence of the above tests having been undertaken and favourable results obtained before making any formal offers of employment.
8.9 Conditions of on-going employment – existing staff: All FCA Senior Managers or certified persons are asked to self-certify periodically, typically annually, that they remain fit and proper to perform their duties. Additionally, the firm will also perform a review of the ongoing fitness and proprietary of the persons.
8.10 Temporary/contract Staff: We expect temporary/contract staff to have been subjected to the same checks as all other employees prior to joining the firm. We request confirmation of this from recruitment agents prior to take-on.
8.11 Remuneration: Remuneration practices which only reward sales figures may encourage risk-taking behaviour including the giving or receipt of bribes and/or the making of facilitation payments. To mitigate this risk, Earlsfield Capital’s remuneration practices consider the following factors:
• Level of salary – market competitiveness
• Bonus incentives – rewarding out performance of both the Company and Individual
• Equity / options participation – aligning interests with the shareholder
• Adherence to the Firm’s compliance policies and procedures
8.12 Monitoring: We ensure senior management can demonstrate that it carries out the oversight function effectively though regular and substantive management information to the Board,including:
• An overview of the bribery and corruption risks faced by the business
• Systems and controls to mitigate those risks
• Information about the effectiveness of those systems and controls (through periodic compliance monitoring)
• Legal and regulatory developments and relevant newsworthy external cases
9.2 The firm supports anyone who makes such a report and ensures that the report is treated appropriately. No disciplinary action is taken against any person who makes a legitimate report,even if the suspicion turns out to be incorrect. However, disciplinary action will be taken against any person who attempts to victimise or discriminate against a person making such a report.
9.3 Reporting should be direct to Compliance.
12.2 This policy will be reviewed annually. Additionally, should there be any changes to legislation in the period or significant concerns that required updating in the policy, then an ad-hoc review will be conducted.
The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery is the responsibility of all consultants throughout the Partnership/Board of Directors. Suitable channels of communication by which consultants or others can report confidentially any suspicion of bribery will be maintained via the Anti-Corruption Reporting procedures.
Useful resource: www.transparency.org.uk for the Transparency Index
A fuller Policy and Procedures outlining all the Principles of the Act can be requested from the Compliance Officer of the Principal firm by emailing Vasco.Vicini@mjhudson.com or Kiran.Sethi@mjhudson.com