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World’s biggest corporates hit hardest by illicit activity despite bolstering defences

Globally, 57% of respondents at $15 billion+ turnover companies reported “very significant” impacts of corruption and illicit activity

  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents in India put lack of visibility over third parties as their top vulnerability related to bribery and corruption risk
  • Eighty-one percent of respondents in India said sufficient board-level attention and investment was given to bribery and corruption risk, above the global average (72%)

MUMBAI – 15 September 2021 – Kroll, the world’s premier provider of services and digital products related to valuation, governance, risk and transparency, today revealed that India is one of the most self-aware countries when it comes to identifying bribery and corruption risk. Four in ten (39%) respondents in India ranked their own region of Asia Pacific (APAC) as the most vulnerable to incidents of bribery and corruption.

Kroll’s Global Fraud and Risk Report shows companies in India have bolstered their defences against bribery and corruption risk, and around 81% respondents believe that sufficient board-level attention and investment is given to bribery and corruption risk, well above the global average (72%). A majority (92%) also said their organizations used data analytics to proactively identify bribery and corruption risk, again higher than the global average (86%).

Lack of visibility over third parties such as suppliers and distributors appears to be the biggest concern for respondents in India when it comes to bribery and corruption (47%), in line with the global average (46%). This highlights the need to focus on external threats as well as internal. A third of respondents in India (33%) cited poor record-keeping as the greatest threat related to bribery and corruption, while a fifth (20%) cited employees’ actions as the top risk.

India is in line with the global average (82%) when it comes to carrying out enterprise-wide risk assessments, with 83% of respondents confirming that an assessment has taken place in the past five years.

Tarun Bhatia, Managing Director and Head of South Asia, Forensic Investigations and Intelligence, commented, “It has been a difficult year for corporates facing threats from all angles and bearing the impact of COVID-19. While many firms have bolstered defences against bribery and corruption with proactive measures, the data also highlights that a large proportion of respondents in India (83%) still feel corruption and unlawful activity have a significant impact on their organisation. Lack of visibility over third parties (47%), employees’ actions (20%) and weaknesses in record-keeping (33%) are typical vulnerabilities, which suggest that no matter how strong the compliance programs in place are, if the human element isn’t addressed, illicit behaviour will continue to prevail and go undetected.”

Survey Methodology

For the 2021 Global Fraud and Risk Report, Kroll conducted an online survey of 1,336 senior decision-makers for risk strategy, including general counsel, chief compliance officers, chief finance officers and CEOs at corporates. Sixty percent of the organisations have annual revenues of $250 million or more, and 34% have annual revenues of more than $1 billion. Survey respondents were drawn from the 17 countries and regions featured on the global risk map. The survey was conducted in March 2021.

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