…a company cannot take a “one size fits all” approach to localising its compliance programme, as certain kinds of crime are more prevalent in some countries than in others.
London, UK (PRWEB UK) 15 August 2014
Economic crime is an unfortunate reality in business, making it essential for companies to maintain thorough records and detailed corporate compliance programmes for protection against significant financial loss. In international business, it is even more crucial to establish these measures and translate them into local languages to minimise the risk as much as possible.
Equally important, a company cannot take a “one size fits all” approach to localising its compliance programme, as certain kinds of crime are more prevalent in some countries than in others. To help companies make informed decisions about their localisation priorities and processes, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) periodically surveys industry leaders across the globe regarding the types of economic crime they’ve experienced and the impact of the crimes. PwC’s most recent survey, the 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey, covered the period of August 2013 through February 2014, and included responses from more than 5,000 respondents in 99 countries and territories.
A summary of the survey’s key findings is provided below.
Countries most affected — Economic crime is definitely a global phenomenon, with 37 per cent of all respondents reporting at least one incident during the survey period. South Africa reported the highest rate of economic crime with 69 per cent of its respondents directly affected by it. The Ukraine and Russia were not far behind with 63 per cent and 60 per cent of their representatives, respectively, reporting economic crime. One disturbing finding in the survey is that whilst the global economic crime rate rose from 2011’s 34 per cent, Ukraine reported a rate of only 36 per cent in 2011, and Russia had an even lower rate of 30 per cent, which suggests increasingly lax law enforcement in those countries.
Industries most prone to economic crime — Economic crime rates vary across industries. The retail and consumer sector and the financial services sector were most likely to have experienced economic crime, with 49 per cent of respondents from both sectors saying that their companies had experienced at least one incident during the survey period. The communication industry ranked second highest with 48 per cent of its respondents indicating that economic crime had occurred at their organisation. Companies in these industries should take extra care in translating their corporate policies so that overseas employees and associates can clearly understand and uphold them.
White-collar crime — Regardless of the industry, white-collar crime—particularly money laundering, bribery and corruption, and anti-competition law violations—tends to attract more attention from federal law enforcement agencies than other types of economic crime. These white-collar crimes are especially dangerous because they are usually systemic rather than episodic in nature, and may potentially affect all areas of an organisation. Hence it is not surprising that PwC devoted a section entirely to the three categories of white-collar crime.
- Bribery and corruption — Eastern Europe and Africa reported the highest bribery and corruption rates with 39 per cent of respondents in each region reporting incidents during the survey period. The Middle East followed with a 35 per cent occurrence rate, well above the global average of 27 per cent. It is worth noting that the economies of the Middle East and Africa rely heavily on the resource extraction, infrastructure and construction industries, which typically have higher than average bribery and corruption rates.
- Money laundering — Bribery and corruption incidents do occur in the financial industry, but they are not as frequent as incidents of money laundering. The survey found that 27 per cent of finance company respondents reported occurrences of money laundering during the survey period. The insurance industry followed with the next highest rate of this type of crime, with 11 per cent of respondents feeling its effects.
- Anti-competition law violations — The effects of bribery, corruption and money laundering can be observed all over the world. However, for one in four respondents in Eastern and Western Europe, they pose less cause for concern than violations of anti-competition laws. This relatively high percentage may be due in part to the EU Commission’s campaign against market abuse, including cartels and price fixing.
PwC’s findings can be very helpful in prioritising and tailoring your corporate policies and compliance programmes to address specific economic crime issues for each country in which you do business. These policies and programmes, in turn, must be clearly translated so international associates can readily understand and abide by them. A language services provider with legal translation experience can help ensure that your translated compliance materials accurately reflect the content and intent of your company’s rules.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey, accessed 2 July 2014, http://www.pwc.com/crimesurvey.
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