French anti-corruption agency runs checks on Renault

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French car manufacturer Renault at a dealership in Bordeaux, France, June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Renault RENA.PA on Wednesday said France's anti-corruption agency was carrying out checks at the company, though a source at the carmaker, which was rocked by the arrest of former boss Carlos Ghosn, said the inspection was a routine matter.

French magazine Challenges was first to report the inspection but gave no further details.

There was no initial indication that the checks were explicitly linked to judicial investigations into Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan alliance arrested in Tokyo in late 2018 on financial misconduct charges which he denies.

Ghosn fled to Lebanon in late December, and the anti-corruption agency’s probe began shortly before then, a source familiar with the matter said.

The company has been in the limelight over the Ghosn scandal for the past year, however, and the source did not rule out this had raised questions over governance at Renault and prompted a closer look.

One of the anti-corruption agency’s remits is to ensure that French regulations from 2016 - known as the loi Sapin and aimed at improving financial transparency and helping firms detect irregularities - are being implemented correctly.

Other businesses have also been targeted by routine checks into internal procedures, which can lead to financial sanctions if serious flaws are found.

“Renault confirms that it has been informed by (anti-corruption agency) AFA that it is carrying out an inspection of the measures contained in ‘loi Sapin’,” a spokeswoman for the carmaker said, adding that the company was cooperating with AFA to provide the necessary information and documents.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Sarah White; Editing by David Goodman and David Evans