Refinitiv releases findings of 2021 Sub-Saharan Africa financial crime report

08 November 2021 Refinitiv

• 39% of respondents lack anti-bribery controls while 55% do not have a cybercrime programme
• Only 3% view ESG as a significant concern
• 23% had fallen victim to bribery and corruption over the past five years

Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) business, released the results of its second financial crime report for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The 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.

According to the report, only 28%of respondents have an Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) programme. More than 39% of respondents lack anti-bribery and corruption controls, while 55% of respondents do not have a cybercrime programme. The report also noted that only 3% of respondents view Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) as a significant theme despite the growing regulatory focus on this topic.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Data and Analytics, Middle East and Africa, LSEG, said: “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. The report highlights a strong desire for compliance technology that offers improved data management and analytical capabilities.”

“Survey responses also reveal a high level of third-party and supply chain risk exposure. More than two-thirds of respondents indicated that they do not have a third-party risk management programme,” he added.

More than 23% of respondents noted that their organisations had fallen victim to bribery and corruption over the past five years. 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% of respondents pointed out that they invested in digital identity technology, while 18% noted they already have an active digital identity programme in place. The report surveyed risk and compliance professionals and business leaders across 47 countries in SSA.

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