Financial Services Ireland

Thought Leadership

EMEIA fraud survey – 2013

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Navigating today’s complex business risks

The level of pressure on today’s businesses is beyond doubt. There is instability across many markets, sluggish or minimal growth in others and an aggressive enforcement environment around the world.

Our survey asked over 3,000 board members, executives, managers and their teams across 36 countries about the nature of this pressure. The results make for uncomfortable reading.

In this report, we discuss three clear messages that are delivered through the survey:

  • Feeling the pressure. Executives and their teams are under increased personal pressure to produce growth and profit in extremely challenging conditions.
  • Unethical business practices — spotlight on fraud. Unethical conduct — including fraud, bribery and corruption — in response to this pressure is not just a hypothetical risk. One in five respondents have seen financial manipulation occurring in their companies. Fifty-seven percent believe that bribery and corruption are widespread in their countries.
  • Compliance programs work, but not well enough. Companies that do not keep asking the right questions — and demanding answers — are exposing themselves to significant risk.

Navigating the risks

We find that businesses that manage the risk of fraud, bribery and corruption most effectively share some common features:

They own the problem. Boards and senior management acknowledge that the risk is real for them and their business.

They deal with the issues. Teams across businesses, functions, geographies and grades understand that the risks are relevant to them and their work.

They communicate the risks and the benefits. The costs of fraud, bribery and corruption are understood at an individual level. Behavior is not only limited by controls, but is driven by a common culture.

They focus effort. Squeezing efficiencies out of shrinking resources is a necessity in today’s environment. Identifying specific risks and focusing resources on these is therefore increasingly important.

They ask questions and demand answers. Management is not afraid to ask difficult questions or turn over stones, knowing that what is hidden cannot be ignored.

The message from our survey is this: businesses face significant threats and must be aware and take action to navigate these risks.

Julie Fenton

FS Partner, Fraud Investigations
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