Financial companies can expect increased scrutiny from prosecutors and regulators as the biggest overhaul of Britain's bribery laws in more than a hundred years comes into force today.
Both the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority will be paying closer attention to how well financial services firms prevent corruption.
The SFO will be the lead prosecutor of breaches and must prove bribery to a criminal standard.
But the FSA has said companies with weak controls risk civil action under its existing rules. The regulator needs only to prove bribery could have taken place because of poor measures to prevent it.
"The FSA's role will be significant because, in reality, they have to achieve a lower standard of proof," Eoin O'Shea, a lawyer at Lawrence Graham, told the Financial Times.
Individuals risk a maximum sentence of 10 years for paying or receiving bribes under the act. Companies, even those with no headquarters in the UK, can receive fines for failing to prevent bribery.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till