Home Stock WPP pays $19 million in settlement with U.S. SEC

WPP pays $19 million in settlement with U.S. SEC

imageStock Markets53 minutes ago (Sep 24, 2021 10:41AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Branding signage for WPP, the largest global advertising and public relations agency at their offices in London, Britain, July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

By Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Friday that Britain’s WPP (LON:WPP) had agreed to pay more than $19 million to resolve charges that it violated the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The world’s largest advertising firm did not admit or deny the SEC’s charges but agreed to pay the fine, the SEC said.

WPP implemented an aggressive business growth strategy that included acquiring majority interests in many localized advertising agencies in high-risk markets, it added.

Its order found that WPP failed to ensure that these subsidiaries implemented its internal accounting controls and compliance policies, the SEC said, referring to issues in India, China, Brazil and Peru.

It added that because of structural deficiencies, WPP failed to “promptly or adequately respond to repeated warning signs of corruption or control failures at certain subsidiaries.”

The issues relate to a period between 2013 and 2018.

“A company cannot allow a focus on profitability or market share to come at the expense of appropriate controls,” said Charles Cain, the SEC’s FCPA Unit Chief.

“Further, it is essential for companies to identify the root cause of problems when red flags emerge to prevent a pattern of corrupt behavior from taking hold.”

Friday’s move comes as the nation’s top securities watchdog seeks to stamp out abuses in U.S. markets due to a lack in required controls by companies.

WPP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

WPP pays $19 million in settlement with U.S. SEC

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Subscribe here

Categories

Must Read