Proliferation of new tech applications ramps up challenges to anti-bribery and corruption compliance, Hogan Lovells reports

London and Washington, D.C., 4 February 2020 – More than half of businesses say that technologies such as chat apps are making it harder to monitor bribery and corruption, according to a new report published today by global law firm Hogan Lovells. The report, Steering the Course II, surveyed multinational businesses on all aspects of anti-bribery and corruption compliance, including their approaches, concerns and regional differences.

Another tech-related challenge: more than half (56%) of respondents also reported that the growth of cryptocurrencies is a compliance concern.

"Bribery and corruption activity is dynamic and fast-moving, so staying abreast of the risks presented by new technology is crucial," said Crispin Rapinet, Global Head of Hogan Lovells’ Investigations, White Collar and Fraud practice.

The report reveals that against a backdrop of slow global growth business leaders are struggling to balance the quest for corporate expansion with increased compliance pressure. More than two-thirds (68%) of compliance leaders believe that regulatory pressure is increasing, and over half (52%) say that although anti-bribery and corruption compliance demands are ever growing, their organization is cutting overall budgets.

The pressure for growth is fierce. Some 90% of compliance leaders feel pressure to proceed with their growth strategy in Asia, Latin America and Africa despite bribery and corruption concerns. In addition, 52% of compliance leaders report that many people in their business still fail to follow compliance procedures.

"Despite the challenges involved, businesses must prioritize anti-bribery and corruption compliance across the board or face significant, widespread risks," Rapinet said. "In particular, the adoption of any new technology merits scrutiny to ensure compliance."

"Compliance leaders are right to believe that regulatory pressure is increasing," said Hogan Lovells partner Stephanie Yonekura based in Los Angeles. "Multinational bodies are joining in enforcement efforts and more jurisdictions are focused on bribery and corruption breaches. Alongside this, governments face growing demands from the public for greater transparency."

The full report is available here.

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