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2017 Asia Pacific Corruption Investigation

——Urgent need for clear, concise, and rigorous compliance

2018-10-12 14:40 Friday

EY Asia-Pacific Fraud Survey 2017 surveyed almost 1,700 employees from 14 large enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region. More than 90% of employees surveyed indicated they would like to work for a company with a strong compliance culture, but also expressed dissatisfaction with compliance policies that they regard as unclear or consistent. Furthermore, a majority of respondents lack confidence in whistleblowing hotlines, of which half are inclined to report misconduct through external channels instead.


93% of the survey's respondents have been confused by unclear or inconsistent compliance policies, containing complex legal terminology that they find difficult and inconvenient to understand and execute. Therefore, 85% believe that compliance policies should be simplified, localized and consistently applied. The survey also suggests that employees have a strong willingness to obey regulations and compliance policies, with two in five respondents willing to earn less in order to work for an ethical organization.

61% of respondents are aware that their company has set up a whistle-blowing hotline, but many still don't trust that their organization will maintain confidentiality. Three in ten would prefer to take evidence of misconduct directly to law enforcement or publicize it through social media.

EY's Head of Forensic & Integrity Services in the Asia-Pacific Emmanuel Vignal noted that an increase in whistleblowing hotlines is not enough on its own to enhance a compliance program. He recommends that companies should take further action, such as following up on whistleblowing complaints, providing whistleblowers with the proper protection against reprisal, and implementing more severe punishment for misconduct.

In spite of the positive indicators, there are still concerns that the survey reveals more lenient attitudes towards unethical behavior from millennials (aged 25-34). Even though millennial employees are the group least willing to work for unethical companies, they are more likely than any other to offer cash payments or gifts to win or retain business. Nonetheless, 4 in 5 millennial respondents would look for another job if their organization was involved in a major fraud, bribery or corruption case.

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