COVID-19 pandemic increased customer and third-party risks, Refinitiv survey reveals

Thursday 8 July 2021 09:18 CET | News

New research from Refinitiv shows only 44% of organisations conducted third-party due diligence checks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report found that respondent organisations were under mounting pressure to increase revenue (73%) and profits (65%) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As their organisations were burdened to keep operations and disrupted supply chains running, the survey found that 65% of organisations took shortcuts with KYC and due diligence checks. Only 44% of respondents conducted initial formal customer or third-party due diligence checks, a 5% drop compared to Refinitiv’s 2019 survey (49%).

When it comes to due diligence checks, by region, Europe was the lowest performing (40%) while Sub-Saharan Africa (56%) the highest. A focus on rapidly forging new third-party relationships also created an environment with reduced sanctions screening, with only 40% of organisations making screening a priority and 56% of respondents admitting they did not fully manage risks related to sanctions screening. Regulators also eased pressure on organisations; compared to Refinitiv’s 2019 report, pressure from governments (75%), regulators (67%) and corporate boards (64%) was considerably lower during the pandemic.

The new remote working culture during the pandemic made it more difficult for organisations to manage cyber risk, as 71% of organisations stated that operating with a remote workforce made cybercriminal attacks harder to contain. This was the impetus for half (51%) of organisations making cybercrime a priority during the pandemic. Fraud was also a big focus, with companies dedicating substantial resources (20%) to combatting this aspect of financial crime, followed by 16% for money laundering and 14% to cybercrime and theft.

The report highlights the power of technology innovation, with 86% of respondents reporting that innovative digital technologies have helped them identify financial crime, and 91% of technology champions stating they will look to improve financial crime detection and mitigation over the next year.

The survey also found that the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted greater collaboration across industries and between businesses, people, or institutions, and links this trend to the use of technology.

Another positive change the research highlights is the increased importance of ESG to organisations and the emphasis on green crime. The survey shows that two thirds of organisations are concerned with ESG factors when it comes to due diligence and 43% of respondents consider emerging threats such as green crime a priority.

The report findings are based on a survey completed by nearly 3,000 managers in large organisations with an annual average turnover of USD 24.3 billion, who are either knowledgeable or involved in regulatory compliance and practices. The research was conducted in March 2021 across 30 countries, including: USA, UK, Canada Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Poland.

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Keywords: KYC, AML, transaction monitoring, compliance, study, CDD
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime