KBA-NotaSys settles bribery case

Banknote press manufacturer KBA-NotaSys has been fined one symbolic Swiss franc following a corruption scandal, but will also pay a multimillion euro settlement.

The Swiss manufacturer of specialist presses for security printers is a subsidiary of Germany-headquartered press manufacturer KBA.

KBA-NotaSys reported itself to the Swiss public prosecutor in 2015 after it uncovered evidence that bribery had taken place between 2005-2015 in a number of countries it operates in. The fact that the company reported itself to the authorities resulted in the symbolic fine.

In a statement, the KBA-NotaSys said: “The settlement regards the failure to prevent bribery in the context of historical orders in Brazil, Nigeria, Morocco and Kazakhstan. KBA-NotaSys will disgorge profits from projects in these four countries between 2005 and 2012 to the Swiss authorities.”

The settlement amounts to €27.8m (£24.2m). Part of it will be used to create an Integrity Fund, with CHF5m (£4m) to be spent on promoting ethics, integrity and compliance in the banknote printing industry.

However, the settlement has not yet come into force due to an appeal in a related, but separate investigation.

A KBA-NotaSys spokesman told PrintWeek: “The settlement will become legally binding only after a Swiss federal criminal court rules on a related court action by a person with links to the company.? The unnamed defendant is seeking to benefit from the company’s settlement, and has asked a court to join the two proceedings.

“The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has previously turned down the defendant’s request. This ruling will have no impact on the?settlement with KBA-NotaSys. We are expecting that the settlement will enter into force in the next few weeks.”

KBA-NotaSys was among the first companies to sign up to the Banknote Ethics Initiative in 2012, which resulted in the “strengthening of its compliance framework” and led to it uncovering the issues.

“KBA-NotaSys now has a modern prevention-oriented compliance system,” the firm said. 

KBA has already provided for the settlement, and it will not have an effect on the group's net profit in 2016 or subsequent years.