Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe
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Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe

Rhetoric and Realities

Edited by Regine Barth and Franziska Wolff

The acid test of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is simply this: does it lead to positive impacts on society and the environment or is it just rhetoric? And if it does lead to positive impacts, how can these be enhanced? This timely book tackles this cutting-edge challenge by presenting empirical findings from a range of surveys and in-depth case studies. These build on a new methodological and theoretical framework for assessing and explaining the sustainability impact of CSR.
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Chapter 13: Banking on Integrity: CSR Helps Counter Bribery and Money Laundering in Two Banks

Peter Wilkinson


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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