UK export credit agency ECGD is facing allegations that it watered down anti-bribery procedures with UK companies such as BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

In a two-day High Court hearing recently, The Corner House, an anti-corruption campaign group, sought to have the new rules overturned. The group is claiming that when the rules were drafted ministers considered only the views of business, representing a breach of ECGD’s policies.

ECGD’s anti-bribery rules are designed to ensure that UK companies do not use improper methods to secure contracts.

A revised anti-bribery policy was published in November. Previously, UK exporters had to give anti-bribery undertakings on behalf of any affiliate involved in a deal. Subsequent guidance limited that to companies controlled by the exporter.