Europe’s largest aerospace group Airbus has hired a panel of independent monitors to help review the company’s practices in the midst of fraud, bribery and corruption allegations and investigations in France and Britain, according to Reuters.
The company’s anti-corruption practice comes after fraud allegations and self-acknowledging of misstatements and omissions in past financial support applications for passenger jets sales in April 2016. The possible malpractices might have occurred due to the use of middle-man assistance with governmental contracts, the company led to believe.
Following these revelations, investigations for suspected bribery and fraud regarding the company’s civil activities are opened in France and Britain. Additional investigations are pending in Austria in relation to freighter order back in 2003.
If found guilty, Airbus faces sizeable fines and prohibition of government contracts for undisclosed amount of time meaning even greater financial loss. Therefore, voluntary opening an investigation might help the company to achieve a deferred prosecution deal in Britain and France civil investigations.
The newly appointed commission is due to inspect Airbus’s “systems and culture”. The commission includes two former ministers – German Finance Minister Theo Waigel and French European Affairs Minister Noelle Lenoir. It is also rumored that the panel might be led by UK lawyer and House of Lords member David Gold, who has recently review anti-corruption policies of Rolls-Royce, which was dealing with a similar scandal.
Following the announcement of establishing an independent compliance review panel, the company shares fell 0.4% on Monday.