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    33% of Indian businesses saw major fraud in last 18 months: EY Global Integrity Report 

    33% of Indian businesses saw major fraud in last 18 months: EY Global Integrity Report 

    33% of Indian businesses saw major fraud in last 18 months: EY Global Integrity Report 
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    COVID-19 has made business integrity standards slip for many organisations in the past 18 months, with India Inc reporting the second-highest number of cases of fraud and unethical conduct, often at senior management levels.

    Besides the direct challenges to healthcare and the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic had another side-effect -- it multiplied incidents of fraud and unethical conduct, substantially diminishing business integrity in India. According to EY’s Global Integrity Report 2022, ‘Tunnel vision or the bigger picture,’ 33 percent of respondents in India had revealed that their organisation had suffered a significant incident of fraud in the last 18 months, the second-highest among 54 countries surveyed.
    A total of 63 percent respondents from the country also added that they would be participating in unethical conduct like ignoring misconduct, falsifying information, financial or customer records as well as paying or accepting bribes if it meant that their own career benefited as a result. The global response to the question was only 24 percent responding in the affirmative.
    “The pandemic’s aftershock and subsequent economic crunch have aggravated organisational challenges of working with integrity in times of crises. Management and boards will have to lead by example, inspire an ethical culture, foster transparency, utilise technology and strengthen compliance, whistleblowing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) frameworks. Acting now will be the key to setting up an enterprise that makes strides in the right direction and delivers on societal expectations as well,” said Arpinder Singh, India and Global Markets Leader, Forensic and Integrity Services, EY.
    Senior management under scanner
    The impact of COVID-19 as well as senior management on the integrity of the entire organisation can be seen through the results of the survey. Forty-one percent of respondents said that they feel pressure from management not to report misconduct and 59 percent added that there are managers in their organisation who would sacrifice integrity for short-term financial gain, higher than the 43 percent global average.
     
    Fifty-two percent respondents said unethical behaviour is often ignored if it’s from seniors or high-performers and 37 percent of respondents said their integrity standards have worsened over the past 18 months or stayed the same.
    The survey was conducted between June and September 2021, and included 4,672 board members, senior managers, managers and employees from some of the largest private and public organisations in 54 countries.
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