39% of Sub-Saharan Africa firms lack anti-bribery controls: survey

Refinitiv's financial crime report also finds low ESG awareness

  
Shield Background. Image used for illustrative purpsoe.

Shield Background. Image used for illustrative purpsoe.

Getty Images

Some organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continue to lack anti-bribery controls and cybercrime programmes, while only a small number view ESG as a significant concern. 

These are some of the findings of a recent survey by Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) business. 

As part of its second financial crime report for the SSA region, Refinitiv's survey highlighted new trends this year, including low awareness of third-party exposure, high demand for advanced compliance technology, emerging supply chain risks and lack of digital identity solutions in “Know Your Customer” (KYC) protocols. 

The report surveyed risk and compliance professionals and business leaders across 47 countries in SSA. 

Findings 

According to the report, more than a third of respondents (39 percent) lack anti-bribery controls, while the majority (55 percent) do not have a cybercrime programme.  

More than 23 percent of respondents noted that their organisations had fallen victim to bribery and corruption over the past five years. 

When asked about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), only a tiny minority (three percent) consider it as a significant theme despite the growing regulatory focus on the topic. 

The study also found that only about 28 percent of respondents have an Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) programme.  

“Organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa still lack sound compliance programmes. The global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has created additional complexity for risk management professionals across the continent,” said Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Data and Analytics, Middle East and Africa, LSEG. 

“The report highlights a strong desire for compliance technology that offers improved data management and analytical capabilities.” 

He said survey responses also reveal a “high level of third-party and supply chain risk exposure”, with more than two-thirds of respondents indicating they do not have a third-party risk management programme. 

However, survey results suggest that risk and compliance professionals in the region are investing in innovative technology to help address their risk exposure. 

More than 26 percent of respondents pointed out that they invested in digital identity technology, while 18 percent noted they already have an active digital identity programme in place. 

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Cleofe Maceda)  

(brinda.darasha@refinitiv.com)

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

© ZAWYA 2021


More From Legal