Airbus investigated by the Serious Fraud Office...

Airbus Group is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for alleged fraud, bribery and corruption.

The aircraft maker, which has its headquarters in France, revealed in April that it was in talks with British authorities over “inaccuracies” found in applications it had made for UK Government credit guarantees.

It has now confirmed it is co-operating with SFO investigators in the inquiry, which was opened in July.

An Airbus spokesman previously said that errors in the applications had been found during an internal compliance review.

The UK export credit agency had then said it was up to the SFO as to whether the matter was taken further.

In a statement on Sunday, Airbus confirmed it had been told by the SFO that an investigation had been opened “into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in the civil aviation business of Airbus Group relating to irregularities concerning third party consultants”.

According to the SFO, the allegations “relate to irregularities concerning third-party consultants” in Airbus’s civil aviation business.

Guidance for companies under the UK’s Bribery Act, 2010, says: “The bribery risks associated with reliance on a third party agent representing a commercial organisation in negotiations with foreign public officials may be assessed as significant and accordingly require much more in the way of procedures to mitigate those risks.”

Airbus also has major UK operations at Filton, near Bristol, and Broughton in Wales.

Source: skynews