France Joins UK in Airbus Fraud Investigation

(AI News, Midland Park, 6 March 2017) France’s Parquet National Financier has joined the UK Serious Fraud Office in an investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in the civil aviation business of Airbus Group...  The UK agency launched its official investigation last August, following months of deliberation over whether or not to pursue charges related to the manufacturer’s failure to reveal the identity of some intermediaries in applications for export credit financing for certain airline customers... Last April Airbus issued a statement acknowledging it notified the SFO of “certain inaccuracies” in the applications following an internal investigation and that an interruption in UK export funding would likely result. At the time it said expected no interruption in financing from the export credit agencies in France and Germany—the other European countries in which it builds most of its components and assembles airplanes. However, those countries subsequently cut off funding as well in cooperation with the UK agency. Export credit accounted for some 6 percent of funding for Airbus airliners in 2015 and, due to the investigation, virtually none last year. Despite these investigations, Airbus has stated that it "expects to have access to European export credit financing on a 'case by case' basis in 2017"