Control Risks, the global business risk consultancy, recently published its annual survey of business attitudes to corruption. The survey, which consisted of interviews with 824 companies worldwide, illustrates that despite increased global efforts to curtail it, corruption remains a significant obstacle to international businesses.
Some of the survey’s specific findings include:
- Corruption is still a major cost to international business: 20 percent of U.S. companies (compared to 30 percent globally) reported losing out on deals to corrupt competitors.
- Corruption risks continue to deter investors: 32 percent of U.S. companies (30 percent globally) say they have decided not to conduct business in specific countries because of the perceived risk of corruption.
- Corruption is killing deals: 35 percent of U.S. companies (30 percent globally) reported that the risk of corruption was the primary reason they pulled out of a deal on which they had already spent time and money.
- The picture is improving: Companies from countries with tight enforcement report fewer losses than before from corrupt competitors. In 2006, 44 percent of U.S. companies said they had lost out to corrupt competitors, compared with only 24 percent in 2015. And when asked whether international anti-corruption laws “improve the business environment for everyone,” 87 percent of U.S. respondents agreed (81 percent globally).
- There is still more to do: The survey shows that there are still wide variations in the maturity of company programs. In the worst case, conventional compliance approaches can actually increase risk because of the potential for complacency.