During extraordinary global events – from natural disasters to wars and pandemics such as the one we are currently experiencing – there is a risk that bribery and corruption can spike, disrupting normal business and individual activities. During such times, priorities shift; organisational objectives of transparency, business integrity and whistleblowing could get deprioritised as they may be perceived as nonessential, with general employee and client welfare, business continuity and disaster recovery taking precedence.
The current Covid-19 crisis has led to a great deal of uncertainty, especially in jurisdictions that are not well-equipped to deal with large-scale business disruptions.
The anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International, has identified possible weaknesses in fundamental safeguards against corruption in the health care and public sector. It points out that most countries have declared states of emergency or have invoked extraordinary powers to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 by speeding up decision-making and the emergency allocation of resources. However, these weaknesses are common to all sectors, particularly financial services, given its role in facilitating various stimulus packages issued by governments to help economies cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
So far, the crisis has put organisational infrastructures under stress in many ways and, consequently, could encourage poor behaviour among employees, clients and other third parties, as organisations grapple with potentially underequipped business continuity, disaster recovery, anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) and anti-fraud controls.
Download our latest paper below, which presents potential short- and long-term bribery and corruption risks that firms need to be aware of, along with some considerations on how to limit those risks.
Look out for more EY Financial Services Covid-19 implication papers relating to these Financial Crime and Forensics topics:
You can also review our latest insights and thinking to support you in leading through these volatile times; don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.