More than a third of UK executives believe bribery and corruption exists in business.
Research shows that 34% of executives in the UK think that corruption is a regular part of business activity. This is an increase of 20% since similar research was carried out in 2012.
Ernst and Young, which carried out the research, says UK perceptions of corruption are coming into line with the international average. Its research indicates that 38% of executives worldwide believe corruption occurs widely in business
The research included interviews with 2,550 senior decision makers at the largest companies in 55 countries and territories.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said that the figures were another reminder of the need for companies to ensure they have appropriate anti-bribery procedures in place, wherever they do business.
He added: “Corruption certainly exists in business, to differing degrees around the world. It probably always has done. So the findings of this survey should come as no surprise.
“What those in business should be aware of, however, is the increasing determination and ability of the authorities in many countries to investigate and punish those involved in corruption.
“Recent years have seen large-scale bribery investigations involving some of the world’s biggest names, such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus and GlaxoSmithKline. At the same time, many countries where bribery may have previously been tolerated or ignored are now taking a more active role in tackling it.
“So while this research indicates that many in business believe corruption is commonplace, there is little or no excuse for those in business to do little or nothing to prevent it. Everyone in business needs to have procedures in place to prevent corruption. If they have not, they urgently need to take advice on introducing them.
“The UK recently saw the first conviction of a company for failure to prevent bribery. It is unlikely to be the last. And any company that does not introduce the necessary bribery prevention measures could well be the next to be prosecuted.’’
Read our article: FAILING TO PREVENT BRIBERY