Perceived level of business corruption in UK rises markedly

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Perception of business crime levels in the UK increases (Source: Getty)

The perception of the level of bribery and corruption in UK business has got much worse over the last six years, a survey by accountancy firm EY suggested.

Thirty four per cent of respondents to the survey in the UK said that they believed that bribery and corruption happens widely in business, an increase of 20 percentage points compared to the last time the survey was carried out in 2012.

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The UK ranked below Turkey, Russia and Poland and significantly worse than Germany and Switzerland where just two per cent of people thought there was a widespread problem with corruption.

The UK’s level is 13 percentage points higher than the 21 per cent average for Western Europe.

Respondents in the UK also reported higher levels of criminal incidences than the average for developed countries with 18 per cent saying that their company had experienced a significant fraud in the last two years versus an average of 10 per cent for developed markets.

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Head of fraud investigation at EY Richard Indge said: “Increasing regulation worldwide appears to be having little demonstrable impact on corruption. The prevalence of corruption, both globally and in the UK, means that businesses remain vulnerable to significant financial and reputational harm.”

Regions with corruption risks above the global average included Latin America (74 per cent), the Middle East (62 per cent) and Central and Eastern Europe (47 per cent).

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