Minimising Bribery and Corruption in the workplace
Bribery and corruption can have a devastating impact on a business, a country's economy, and society, and it's vital that every individual takes the necessary steps to reduce risk.
Not too long ago, Credit Suisse agreed to pay a $475 million global settlement for failing to properly manage financial crime risks. The bank arranged loans and bonds for the Republic of Mozambique to build a state tuna fishing fleet and finance maritime security projects. The transactions were found to be tainted by bribery and corruption – with concerns that some of the proceeds were misapplied or misappropriated and allegations that a key contractor paid kickbacks to three bankers to secure more favourable loan terms.
To help reduce bribery risk, here are three best practices to remind your employees: (a PDF version can be downloaded here.)
- Bribery is a crime: If employees offer, solicit or accept a bribe, they could face criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. Bribes come in many shapes and sizes including money, gifts, rewards, favours, services or other advantages.
- Understand the risks: Bribery risks associated with business relationships and transactions must be considered both individually and holistically. This should include scrutiny and challenge by senior individuals and control functions.
- Report red flags: Everyone has a responsibility to escalate red flags or concerns in accordance with the firm’s procedures. Remember, employees don’t need direct evidence of bribery to make a report.
Bribery and corruption can have a devasting impact on a country's economy and society. In the above example, it has been reported that the ultimate cost of the corrupt deals to Mozambique’s economy was $11bn, or $400 per citizen, throwing 1.9 million people into poverty.