Airbus assembles independent compliance panel after bribery probe by Britain's Serious Fraud Office and French authorities

Rebecca Smith
Airbus boss Tom Enders said a year ago the company found
Airbus boss Tom Enders said a year ago the company found "misstatements and omissions" (Source: Getty)

Airbus has appointed an independent panel to monitor its anti-corruption practices, following the launch of a bribery investigation at its jet business.

The aerospace giant said it had set up a three-member independent compliance review panel that will be given "all access to all levels of the company and will report to the Airbus CEO and board on how to further improve Airbus' compliance processes, policies, organisation and culture".

Read more: China's Comac C919 to take to the skies in bid to rival Boeing and Airbus

Tom Enders, Airbus' chief executive, said: "A year ago we self-disclosed to the authorities misstatements and omissions that we had found. We have been cooperating fully with the investigations that ensued and further improving our compliance system is obviously our number one priority now."

However, to embed irreproachable behaviours in all our business undertakings sustainably, we must take a hard look at both our systems and our culture. That’s why we have chosen to elect highly experienced independent experts to challenge and guide us going forward.

Former Herbert Smith solicitor and Conservative peer Lord Gold, former French minister Noëlle Lenoir and former German federal minister of finance Theo Waigel have been appointed to the panel to help the company set up "a meaningful change programme" to address the issues identified.

In March it was announced that French authorities had opened their own investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption at Airbus. They joined Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which launched an inquiry in August, off the back of allegations relating to irregularities concerning third party consultants.

France's Parquet National Financier and the SFO said they would "act in coordination" going forward as they look into the allegations in the civil aviation business of Airbus relating to irregularities concerning third party consultants.

Read more: French authorities join UK in Airbus fraud and corruption probe

Related articles