Results of Annual Survey Presented at Dow Jones Risk & Compliance Event Staged in New York
NEW YORK April 21, 2015—Companies are taking a firmer stance on responding to unethical conduct with more than three quarters reporting instances of bribery when they become aware of it, according to Dow Jones’s 2015 State of Anti-Corruption Compliance Survey.
In a nod to the growing acknowledgement of anti-corruption measures, the number of companies who monitor their business partners at least quarterly has nearly doubled in the past year, while more than 10% of all survey respondents now monitor partners daily; an annual increase of nearly 60%.
The results of the sixth annual survey will be launched today at The Wall Street Journal’s Newsmakers Forum in New York, presented by Dow Jones Risk & Compliance. This year’s survey interviewed nearly 290 compliance professionals worldwide.
The survey also showed that corruption concerns are increasingly impacting companies’ decisions about forming or expanding partner relationships and conducting business in emerging markets, mirroring an ongoing trend over the past three years.
Of the companies represented, more than two thirds stopped or delayed working with a business partner due to concerns about violating anti-corruption regulations. More than 50% of respondents said they had stopped or delayed a venture into emerging markets for the same reason.
Less than a third of compliance professionals surveyed reported having lost business to unethical competitors; a steady decrease from previous years. Among companies losing business, nearly 70% cite non-compliant competitors and more than 70% mention losses to companies not required to comply with anti-bribery regulations. This is a notable increase on past years.
“It’s clear from this year’s survey that global corporations are being more proactive in their monitoring and disclosure of unethical behavior within their organizations,” said Joel Lange, managing director, Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones & Company. “While most corporations now have well established anti-corruption programs, the focus appears to be on getting the right controls in place and ensuring monitoring is being done more frequently to ensure regulatory compliance”.
In general, the incidence of anti-corruption programs has remained mostly steady for the past four years (currently at 90%), with more than half the companies having had programs in place for more than six years. Half of the companies without programs believe other policies already cover anti-corruption issues adequately. As in previous years, nearly all anti-corruption programs (95%) include internal codes of conduct and internal training. All other anti-corruption programs bettered their 2014 levels, including risk ranking of partners and business partner training.
The survey also showed that companies still struggle with due diligence, despite its growing importance, but an increasing number are feeling very confident in their programs. The proportion of companies updating their due diligence at least every two years has increased 35% over the last year, while an increasing number say that sales agents, senior executives, board members and suppliers should be subject to due diligence.
The issue of facilitation payments continues to divide respondents. Although nearly 30% feel it’s realistic to ban them, an increasing number of respondents aren’t sure it’s possible, citing such reasons as reliance on payments by government officials, differing cultural expectations and the requirement to participate in payments in order to do business in some countries.
A complete analysis of the Dow Jones State of Anti-Corruption Compliance Survey can be found here.
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