UK SFO looks into Airbus dealings
09 / 08 / 2016
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has begun an investigation into allegations of “fraud, bribery and corruption” at Airbus relating to the European manufacturer’s use of third-party consultants.
Airbus Group confirmed that it has been informed by the SFO that it has launched a criminal investigation into its civil aviation business. The statement added that Airbus “continues to cooperate with the SFO”.
UK authorities decided to freeze credit applications made by Airbus in April this year and the SFO was asked by the agency, UK Export Finance, to look into documents provided by the aviation giant as regards its use of overseas agents in credit-supported deals.
The SFO confirmed that it opened its investigation in July but could make no further comment when approached by Air Cargo News today (8 August).
Export credits help exporters as they can be used to underwrite bank loans that are offered to foreign buyers of UK products. In Airbus’ case, these may be overseas airlines with limited access to the large amount of funds required for aircraft purchases.
Germany and France are understood to have also halted offering export credits to Airbus and it is by no means impossible that authorities there will wish to establish their own investigations into the use of third-party agents by the company.
Such investigations can take years to complete.