Violation Tracker UK: An Eye-Opening Look at Regulatory Enforcement

Harnessing Data to Expose Regulatory Offences and Drive Corporate Reform

Key Takeaways:

  • Violation Tracker UK is a new database that aggregates regulatory enforcement actions across a wide array of industries.
  • The database was developed by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, a non-governmental organisation based in Washington, DC.
  • It reveals disparities in penalties imposed by UK regulators for different types of offences.
  • The tool aids users in examining company offences, facilitating efforts to reform corporate behaviour.
  • Despite serving as an invaluable resource for transparency and corporate accountability, it uncovers worrying trends regarding punishment for environmental and safety violations.

The Dawn of Violation Tracker UK: A Leap Toward Greater Transparency

In an era of big data and transparency, information has become one of the most potent tools for effecting change. Recognising this power, Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC-based NGO, spearheaded the creation of Violation Tracker UK. This new database reveals UK regulatory enforcement actions, becoming a key resource for those seeking to expose and reform corporate behaviour.

Launched free to the public on October 26, 2021, the database compiles records from over 40 regulatory agencies, resulting in a repository of more than 63,000 entries. Users can access it at This platform allows users to see which companies have been cited for cheating consumers, short-changing workers’ wages, harming the environment, or violating laws in other ways.

Inside Violation Tracker UK: What Does the Database Offer?

The innovative Violation Tracker UK does more than just list offences; it provides a comprehensive overview of each violation. Users can see which companies have been penalised, for what reason, and by which regulatory agency. Furthermore, the system includes a link to the agency website or document from which the data was derived, ensuring transparency and easy access to the source information.

Utilising a proprietary matching system, the database also shows which penalties were imposed on subsidiaries of larger parent corporations. It aggregates the holdings of over 650 publicly traded and privately held parent companies.

A major feature of Violation Tracker UK is its search capability. Users can look up data by corporate parent, subsidiary name, industry sector, regulatory agency, offence category, penalty size, and the headquarters’ country. This robust feature set makes it a powerful tool for anyone seeking to delve deep into the world of regulatory enforcement actions.

Noteworthy Findings: What Does Violation Tracker UK Reveal?

Upon delving into the Violation Tracker UK, a few trends stand out. Firstly, it exposes a concerning disparity: penalties imposed in environmental and safety cases significantly lag behind fines and settlements for financial and competition-related offences.

Airbus, owing to a large bribery settlement with the Serious Fraud Office, has the highest penalty total, amounting to just over £1 billion. Financial services sector penalties cumulatively stand at £4.5 billion, higher than any other industry. When it comes to offence categories, competition-related offences account for the highest penalty total of £5.2 billion, with financial offences ranking second at £2.8 billion.

These findings, while valuable, also reveal a worrisome lack of stringent penalties for environmental and safety violations compared to financial and competition offences. This imbalance indicates that certain areas require more rigorous regulation to deter detrimental corporate behaviours.

The Vision Behind Violation Tracker UK: Driving Corporate Reform

The team behind Violation Tracker UK, led by Good Jobs First Research Director Philip Mattera, envisages the tool as an aid to a wide array of users, especially those keen on reforming corporate behaviour. By shedding light on the regulatory offences committed by corporations, the database empowers regulators, watchdogs, researchers, and the general public to hold these companies accountable.

Moreover, by revealing discrepancies in penalty distribution, Violation Tracker UK could potentially incite discussions about regulatory policies and their implementation. This could lead to reforms aimed at ensuring that penalties for all types of offences, including environmental and safety violations, are substantial enough to act as effective deterrents.

In Conclusion: A Powerful Tool for Accountability and Reform

Violation Tracker UK is more than just a database; it is a beacon of transparency, a catalyst for reform, and a critical step towards holding corporations accountable. As users tap into this resource and share its insights, they contribute to the larger movement of promoting responsible corporate behaviour. The power of this tool lies not only in the information it contains but also in the conversations and changes it has the potential to inspire. As we move forward, tools like Violation Tracker UK will continue to play an instrumental role in driving corporate reform and fostering a more accountable and ethical business landscape.

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