SEC Charges Barclays with FCPA Violations Related to Its Hiring Practices
Sept. 27, 2019
File No. 3-19537
September 27, 2019 - The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Barclays PLC will pay over $6 million to settle charges that it violated the FCPA by hiring the relatives and friends of foreign government officials in order to improperly influence them in connection with its investment banking business.
According to the SEC's Order, Barclay's Asia Pacific Region provided valuable employment to the relatives, friends, and associates of government officials to obtain or retain business or other benefits. Many of these "Relationship Hires" were made through an unofficial intern program, but some were also hired through Barclays' formal intern program, its graduate program, or as candidates for permanent positions.
The SEC's Order finds that Barclays failed to devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls around its hiring practices sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that its employees were not bribing foreign officials in violation of company policy and the FCPA. In addition, with respect to certain hires, Barclays' employees in the Asia Pacific Region falsified corporate records to conceal the true source of the candidates and the reasons for hiring them.
The SEC's Order finds that Barclays violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Without admitting or denying the findings, Barclay's agreed to pay $6,308,726, consisting of disgorgement of $3,824,686, prejudgment interest of $984,040 and a $1.5 million civil penalty. The SEC considered the company's remedial acts and cooperation with the investigation in determining whether to accept Barclays' offer of settlement.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Mark Yost of the FCPA Unit in Washington, D.C., under the supervision of Assistant Director Robert I. Dodge. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the U.S. Department of Justice's Fraud Section.