Rhetoric and Realities
Edited by Regine Barth and Franziska Wolff
Chapter 13: Banking on Integrity: CSR Helps Counter Bribery and Money Laundering in Two Banks
Peter Wilkinson INTRODUCTION 13.1 This chapter examines the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in countering bribery and anti-money laundering (AML) and hence in creating sustainability impact. Corruption is one of the most serious issues for societies leading to, for example, abuse of human rights, instability in markets, risks to life, environmental damage and keeping societies in poverty. Bribery and money laundering are among the most significant forms of corruption. Bribery is typically viewed as prevalent in large public contracts and extractive industries in developing countries but recent scandals in developed nations have underlined that bribery can be a risk in any country or sector. Money laundering is a counterpart of bribery used to dispose of the proceeds of corruption but receives intense attention for its role in terrorism. The World Bank estimated corrupt transactions at about $1 trillion per annum (Kaufmann 2004) and the FBI estimated money laundering at an annual amount of $2.8 trillion dollars (FBI 2001, p. 1). Countering corruption is seen by companies as primarily a compliance or risk management issue. It is of particular importance for banks for countering bribery and fraud in lending and investments and preventing illegally acquired funds using the banking system. However, despite legal obligations for countering bribery and AML, the banks can go beyond compliance with regard to the measures they carry out to attain existing legal goals, or they may decide to strive for more ambitious goals than the legally set ones. Thus, countering bribery and anti-money laundering provide...
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