“The threat of being branded a criminal and of being imprisoned will do far more to chasten reckless bank directors then the loss of a knighthood or a public rebuke ever would. The fact that the offence would rarely be prosecuted or be hard to prove would not undermine the uniquely powerful deterrent that comes with the risk of being prosecuted. The top echelons of a UK bank’s management need to know that they cannot act with impunity if they drive their bank into the red.
The UK’s experience of the Bribery Act is salutary. The threat of prosecution for a failure to prevent corruption, a negligence-based offence, has led to a cultural revolution in the UK’s boardrooms and now it is unthinkable for directors’ to condone foreign bribery within their companies.’