Almost Half of Large Asia Pacific Firms Have Fallen Victim to Financial Crime

Nearly half of large firms in Asia Pacific have been victims of fraud, theft, money laundering or other financial crimes, though they allocate 3.1% of their annual budget to combat such challenges, according to a new report by Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters, in its first such study, surveyed more than 2,300 senior managers from large firms—both listed and privately-held—across 19 countries, including China, Singapore, India and the US.

Survey results indicate that 49% of respondents in the Asia Pacific admitted that their organisation had suffered at least one incident of financial crime over the past 12 months, while cybercrime and fraud are the most common.

Nearly 90% of respondents said they struggled to educate and influence colleagues on bribery and corruption, while only half of respondents have fully implemented workflow and process reports and fully trained and educate customers, third-party vendors, suppliers or partners.

In addition, most companies around the globe do not realise the true cost of financial crime which extends beyond financial and reputational damage to larger problems such as modern day slavery and human trafficking.

"Financial crime is not a faceless crime, the most vulnerable in our society are preyed on and exploited by organised crime for profit," said Julia Walker, head of risk and regulatory technology, Asia Pacific Thomson Reuters

Almost all respondents believe that greater collaboration is key to winning the war against financial crime, with 94% saying there should be more sharing of financial intelligence and 93% indicating that public-private partnerships should be increased and improved.

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