1.1 Nature and Purpose of the Policy
This Policy sets out the Group’s responsibilities, and the responsibilities of those covered by this Policy (see section 3), in observing and upholding the Banks’ anti-bribery and corruption commitments. It contains anti-bribery and corruption procedures and provides guidance on how to recognise and deal with the risk of bribery and corruption and on how to seek guidance as necessary.
The purpose of the Anti Bribery and Corruption Policy (‘the Policy”) is to set out the guidelines that must be adopted by Kuwait Finance House (“KFH” or “the Bank”) and those covered by this Policy in order to protect KFH’s reputation.
1.2 Objectives of the Policy
The guidelines set forth below are introduced to help protecting the Bank and its employees from the risk of bribery and corruption, to maintain high legal and ethical standards and thereby to protect the KFH’s reputation.
1.4 Non-Compliance Situations
Any instances of non compliance by insiders with this Policy will be dealt with by the Head of Compliance (“HOC”) as it deems fit. The Board of Directors (“BoD”) will be advised of such instances including the action initiated by the HOC Disciplinary action, which may include termination, should be addressed in conjunction with Human Resources department.
KFH staff are encouraged to report any suspicions of breaches of the Anti Bribery and Corruption policy in accordance with the KFH Whistleblowing policy.
1.5.2 The policy shall be reviewed at least once a year by the Head of SSB to ensure that it is in line with the industry leading practices and caters for other applicable changes/ guidelines issued by any regulatory changes introduced by the regulatory authorities.
1.5.3 Amendments to the policy may be made as a result of one or a combination of the following reasons:
- Changes in laws and regulations.
- Changes in functions and activities of the Bank.
- Changes in business processes.
- Changes in the organizational structure of the Bank.
- Changes in job roles, duties, and descriptions.
- Any other change, where the management deems necessary to update the Bank’s policies.
- Any significant modifications arising out of the review shall be recommended to the Board of Directors who shall decide whether a modification to the policy is needed and how amendments can be undertaken.
Bribery – essentially involves the giving or receiving of money or anything else of value as an inducement or reward for an improper act. “Kickback” is another term for a bribe.
The recipient of a bribe can be in the Private Sector or in the Public Sector. Bribery can take place where the offer or payment is made indirectly by or through a third party, such as an agent or business partner.
Depending on the circumstances, bribes can take on many different forms. If given or received as an inducement or reward for an improper act, the following could be bribes:
- cash payments.
- gifts (including gifts of cash or cash equivalents).
- hospitality (such as meals, hotel stays or tickets or invitations to sporting and cultural events).
- other promotional expenses (such as travel and accommodation expenses).
- other “favours” that are of value to the recipient (such as letting an individual’s child attend an internship scheme other than through normal procedures, or engaging a company owned by a member of a Public Official’s or customer’s family).
- free use of company services, facilities or property; or
- political contributions or charitable donations.
Corruption - is essentially the misuse of public office or power for private gain; or the misuse of private power in relation to business.
Private Sector - means any company or institution that is not in the Public Sector. Typically, these will be businesses run for private profit.
Public Sector - such as governments, public agencies and organisations, government-owned or controlled commercial enterprises, political parties and charities.
Public Officials - are individuals holding positions or exercise functions in the Public Sector.
Improper - improper commercial or other advantage means an advantage which is brought about because of someone performing (or failing to perform) a function or activity illegally, unethically, in bad faith, not impartially, or in breach of a position of trust. The function or activity could be a public function, a business activity, an activity performed in the course of employment or an activity performed by or on behalf of a body of persons (whether incorporated or not).
An improper act / acting improperly means someone performing (or failing to perform) a function or activity illegally, unethically, in bad faith, not impartially, or in breach of a position of trust.
Facilitation payment - A facilitation payment is usually a small unofficial payment or gift, often in cash, made to secure, facilitate or speed-up the performance by a Public Official of a routine or necessary governmental action or process - such as clearing goods through customs. Typically the action or process in question is one which the Public Official is already under a duty to perform and to which the payer has a legal or other entitlement. Facilitation payments may also be called “facilitating”, “speed” or “grease” payments.
2. General Policy
KFH has no a tolerance for bribery and/or corruption. Bribery and corruption are never acceptable by or on behalf of the Bank. KFH does not engage in bribery or corruption in any form, whether in the private or public sector.
The Bank is committed to act fairly, honestly, openly and in an ethical manner in all their business dealings and relationships. This means:
- Our employees or anyone acting for us must never offer, solicit, promise, give or accept a bribe, kickback or any other improper payment – including ‘facilitation’ payments.
- We comply with all laws and regulations that prohibit bribery and corruption, and we do everything we can to make sure our suppliers, contractors and joint venture partners do the same.
- We never allow ‘facilitation’ or ‘grease’ payments to government officials by anyone who works for KFH or anyone acting for us. This applies no matter how small the amounts are.
3. Who Is Covered By This Policy
3.1 Employees, directors and officers
This Policy applies to KFH, its subsidiaries and associate companies, including joint venture companies in which the Bank has an interest.
This Policy also applies to all individual working in or with the Bank, at any level/grade or jurisdiction. This covers all employees (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary), directors and officers.
3.2 Third Parties
This Policy also applies to third parties engaged by KFH, including agents, distributors, service providers, consultants, advisers, contractors, seconded and agency staff.
3.3 Other business partners, governments, public bodies and Public Officials
This Policy must be considered when dealing with other third parties with whom you come into contact. These include actual and potential customers, clients and suppliers.
In addition, this Policy must be considered when dealing with organisations in the Public Sector and when dealings with Public Officials.
4. Your Responsibility
- You must read, understand and comply with this Policy.
- Take responsibility for the prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and corruption.
- Avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this Policy.
- Report as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a breach of this Policy has occurred, or may occur in the future.
You are strictly prohibited from:
- offering, promising, authorising or providing any money or anything else of value to any person (1) with the intention of obtaining, retaining or rewarding any improper commercial or other advantage for the Bank, for you, or for any other person, or (2) in order to induce any person to act improperly or to reward them for doing so, or (3) or knowing or believing that acceptance by the other person would itself be improper.
- requesting, soliciting, agreeing to receive, accepting or receiving any money or anything else of value from any person where you know or suspect that (1) it is offered or provided with the intention of inducing the Bank, you, or any other person to provide any improper commercial or other advantage to any person, or to act improperly or to reward the Bank, you, or any other person for doing so, or (2) the request itself is improper.
- otherwise using any means to obtain, retain or reward any improper commercial or other advantage for the Bank, for you, or for any other person; or
- acting as an intermediary for any third party in any of the things referred to above.
The above mentioned prohibitions apply (1) whether you act directly or act indirectly through someone acting on your behalf and (2) whether the third party concerned is in the Private Sector or Public Sector.
5. Public Officials
5.1 Payments or Other Advantages
Special rules apply in respect of Public Officials. This is because in certain countries it can be a criminal offence involving severe penalties to provide, for example, a gift to a Public Official.
You must not provide any money or anything else of value (including any gift, hospitality or other promotional expense or any other financial or other advantage) to any Public Official for the purpose of influencing the Public Official in the performance of their official functions with the intention of obtaining or retaining business or an advantage in the conduct of business. This is irrespective of whether or not the Public Official actually performs a function improperly. The provision or receipt of any money or anything else of value to or from any Public Official must be pre-cleared by Head of Departments and Compliance Officer.
5.2 Gift Register
Each function within KFH should maintain a register of gifts and donations setting out the person who paid or received the item in question and confirming that this did not influence any decision by or on behalf of the bank or its clients.
5.3 Facilitation Payments
KFH will not make facilitation payments of any kind, even if they are customary business practice in a particular country.
They are treated as bribes under this Policy regardless of size or local standards or cultural norms.
5.4 Charitable Donations
Any charitable donation made on behalf of KFH or using the Bank’s financial resources must be legal under applicable local laws and not be made with the intention of influencing business or official decisions or gaining a commercial or other advantage.
The offering or making of charitable donations may amount to bribery when they are made with the intention of influencing business or official decisions or gaining a commercial or other advantage.
This may be, for example, where a donation is made to a “charity” which is controlled by a Public Official who is in a position to make decisions affecting the Bank.
6. Third Parties Engaged by the Bank
Most anti-bribery and corruption laws impose liability on companies which become involved in direct or indirect bribery. This means that the Bank may incur liability where a third party engaged to represent or provide a service to the Bank makes or receives an improper payment or otherwise engages in improper conduct in the course of their work on the Bank’s behalf.
It is very important, therefore, that you take steps to ensure that a third party engaged to represent or provide a service to the Bank does not make or receive any improper payment or otherwise engage in improper conduct in the course of acting on the Bank’s behalf.
Accordingly, appropriate due diligence steps must be undertaken in respect of such third parties and in monitoring their activity.
All fees and expenses paid to third parties must represent appropriate, justifiable and proportionate remuneration, which is commercially reasonable under the circumstances, for legitimate services rendered by the third party. Any fees and expenses must only be paid to the third party directly and must not be made through another party that has no contractual relationship with the Bank.
The due diligence undertaken in respect of the third party should be kept together with the written contract/agreement as part of the transaction file along with accurate financial records of all payments must be kept.
7. Consequences in case of Policy breach
Employees who breach this Policy may face disciplinary action, including dismissal for gross misconduct or other termination of employment.
KFH will, wherever possible, reserve the right to terminate, contractual relationships with any third party who works with or for the Bank if they breach this Policy or any applicable anti-bribery and corruption contractual provisions.
8. Reporting Bribery and Suspicious Activity
If you become aware of any actual or suspected breach of this Policy, you must raise your concerns as soon as possible.
You may make a good faith report of suspected bribery or corruption or other alleged wrongdoing under the Bank’s Whistleblowing Policy and this will be treated confidentially.
Reporting should be to both the Head of the Business Unit and the Head of Compliance. A standardized reporting template should be developed by the Compliance function.
9. Employee Protection
Individuals who refuse to take part in bribery and corruption, or who raise concerns or suspicions or report another's wrongdoing, are sometimes worried about possible repercussions.
KFH encourages openness and will support anyone who refuses to take part in bribery and corruption or who raises a concern or suspicion or reports wrongdoing in good faith, even if they turn out to be mistaken.
The Bank is committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment (such as dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment) as a result of taking such steps. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform your line manager, HR or a senior manager immediately.