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

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 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.”