How the international anti-corruption community rates the UK

What international conventions has the UK signed up to on corruption?

The UK has signed up to various international agreements for fighting corruption including:

  • The UN Convention Against Corruption 2005.
    This is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption treaty. The UK ratified it in 2006, and has been reviewed twice for compliance with the Convention in 2012 and 2019.

  • The OECD Convention Against Bribery of Foreign Public Officials 1999.
    This Convention requires OECD state parties to criminalise and sanction foreign bribery of public officials. The UK ratified it in 1999 and has been reviewed 11 times since, most recently in 2019.

  • The Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) Criminal and Civil Law Conventions on corruption 1999.
    The Council of Europe (an international organisation upholding democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe with 47 member states which the UK remains a member of even if it leaves the EU) adopted two Conventions on criminal and civil law, of which the UK ratified only the Criminal Law Convention in 2003. The UK has been reviewed four times, most recently in 2017.

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
    The FATF is an inter-governmental body created in 1989 which has issued a series of Recommendations in 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2012 which are recognised as the international standard for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The UK has been reviewed three times since 1996, most recently in 2018.

What does Spotlight on Corruption do?

We help ensure that the UK government upholds its international commitments on fighting corruption and track its implementation of recommendations made by international review bodies.

We are part of the BOND Anti-Corruption group, a network of UK-based anti-corruption groups that meets with the bodies that review the UK’s compliance with each of its international anti-corruption commitments and provides input in order to help ensure that the reviews are accurate.

Our resources

Response to the 2018 FATF review of the UK – December 2018
Joint response by Corruption Watch, Global Witness and Transparency International to the FATF Mutual Evaluation of the UK which gave the UK the highest compliance rating for tackling money laundering of any global financial centre. It highlights where civil society considered the review needed to be more robust.

Submission to the UNCAC review – July 2018
BOND Anti-Corruption group submission to the UN Convention Against Corruption reviewers providing a civil society perspective on the UK government’s self-assessment of its own compliance with the Convention, particularly with regard to how the UK is preventing corruption and recovering assets that are the proceeds of corruption.

Submission to the OECD Phase 4 review – October 2016
BOND Anti-Corruption group submission to the OECD reviewers covering civil society views on how the UK is implementing the Anti-Bribery Convention.

The OECD comes to town – October 2014
Corruption Watch blog about the site visit by the OECD Working Group on Bribery in 2014 and issues it should expect to address.