SICPA PRESS RELEASE ABOUT OAG
SICPA acknowledges the Swiss Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) conviction for “organisational deficiencies”, but disagrees with its grounds
The OAG's investigation against SICPA, which was opened in January 2015, has come to an end. It concludes with a conviction for "organisational deficiencies". Although it relates to old actions, undertaken without the company’s consent and against its interest, SICPA takes the measure of this sanction but disagrees with its grounds, due to the absence of penal measures in the countries where the offences were allegedly committed. SICPA has since established a strong compliance management system to ensure that the activities conducted on its behalf are carried out in accordance with business ethics and the highest degree of integrity.
After more than 8 years of proceedings, the OAG has finally concluded its investigation and produced a penalty order sanctioning SICPA for "organisational deficiencies" between 2008 and 2015. In its side-letter, the OAG elaborates: “the company’s responsibility does not mean that SICPA SA itself committed these infringements perpetrated by former employees or consultants, nor that it wanted or accepted them. Since then, SICPA SA has voluntarily and fully addressed this organisational deficiency”.
SICPA maintains, as it has done throughout its collaboration on the procedure, that it categorically rejects unethical conduct, that it was not aware of such acts before they were notified and that as soon as they were brought to its attention, SICPA sanctioned those responsible. Furthermore, in Brazil, the individuals whose convictions had required SICPA to execute a leniency agreement were acquitted on 8 June 2022. In the other two countries referred to in the OAG's decision, SICPA was never prosecuted or even informed of any offence.
The long-lasting uncertainty in which this procedure had put SICPA motivated the company not to oppose this decision. SICPA's reputation, tainted by allegations of systemic illegal practices, investigations in several countries, and even a personal responsibility of its Chief Executive Officer Philippe Amon, who has been totally cleared by the OAG, required that this deleterious process be terminated.
SICPA regrets that an internal lack of organisation may have led to actions considered by the OAG as unethical. These organisational deficiencies have been remedied by the comprehensive restructuring of the compliance department, to prevent breaches to business ethics.
Since 2021, SICPA has been one of the first companies in its sector to be ISO 37001:2016 certified for its compliance, integrity and competition protection systems. SICPA is also an accredited member of the Banknote Ethics Initiative, which promotes ethical and responsible business practices worldwide. Philippe Amon, the company's Chairman and CEO, says: "Compliance with the law and doing business with integrity are not optional; they are crucial as a basis for trust, which is at the heart of what we do.”
As it approaches its centenary, SICPA and its thousands of employees can now fully focus on their mission: protect the interests of government and industry clients who have trusted its physical and digital technologies to fight illicit trade, recognised by the main international institutions.