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Global businesses report rise in bribery and corruption risks

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Nearly half (43%) of global businesses say their bribery and corruption risks have risen in the past two years, according a report by risk management provider Kroll.

 

The 2013 Anti-Bribery and Corruption Benchmarking Report found only 8% of companies say their risks have fallen in the past two years. Half of businesses said they expect bribery and corruption risks to increase in the next 12 months.

Expansion into new markets was cited as the most common reason for the expected rise (cited by 80%) in risks, followed by more rigorous enforcement of anti-bribery laws (60%) and the proliferation of anti-bribery laws in new jurisdictions, such as the UK’s Bribery Act (56%). 

However, although risks are expected to increase, the research found many companies are not risk aware. Almost one in five (18%) of firms said they either have an anti-corruption policy but don’t require employees to read it, or don’t have one at all.

And 43% of businesses only conduct a bribery and corruption risk assessment less than once a year, while 17% have never conducted a risk assessment at all. 

The research also found smaller firms are less likely to worry about bribery and corruption. 

Melvin Glapion, managing director at Kroll Advisory Solutions, said: “The risks are very real for all companies, so compliance should never be taken lightly. Given the proliferation of bribery and corruption risks, due diligence on customers, new acquisitions, and business partners is an absolute necessity.”