Financial Services Ireland


The internal investigation process and the impact of Covid-19

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The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the need for many organisations to assess the resilience of their operations. With stronger regulation, a growing culture of social responsibility and the increasing susceptibility to reputational damage, firms need to be able to demonstrate a well-designed and defensible internal investigation process.

Significant changes to the operational environment, caused by the pandemic, present an opportunity for firms to review their processes in an extraordinary context. If organisations embrace this opportunity, the lessons learned from this situation can help build resilience and leave them better able to weather future disruptive events.

Of course, this extraordinary situation also presents risks that must be managed in the short term. The primary investigation risk presented by the pandemic is that disruption could lead to investigations not being performed to the same quality standards as in normal times. This could lead to inconsistently applied outcomes and possible legal challenge.

One of the biggest threats to internal investigation quality lies in curtailing or stopping investigations or moving key employees to other “essential” roles, creating a backlog that impacts employees and the capacity of the investigation teams, with potential regulatory implications. There is also a risk that control gaps or issues may not be identified or resolved, allowing problems to persist or escalate.

Download our latest paper below, which focuses on the factors presented by the pandemic that could impact the quality of investigation outcomes, and the immediate and longer-term considerations for financial services firms.

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.

Julie Fenton

FS Partner, Fraud Investigations
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