UK comes 8th in global corruption table

Under the table: Executives reveal extent of bribery
Under the table: Executives reveal extent of bribery

By Ian Dunt

A new index which ranks countries on how likely their firms are to pay bribes abroad has put the UK eighth.

China and Russia, both considered powerhouses of the new world economy, are the considered most likely to pay bribes abroad, according to Transparency International's 2011 Bribe Payers Index.

Companies from the Netherlands and Switzerland are seen as least likely to bribe.

"With the entry into force of the Bribery Act we would have expected to see the UK
higher up in the rankings," said Chandrashekhar Krishnan, executive director of Transparency International UK.

"UK companies need to make sure they have a rigorous zero-tolerance approach towards bribery. At the same time, the UK government needs to level the playing field for honest UK businesses by working actively through the G20."

The survey, of 3,000 business executives from developed and developing countries, saw business leaders report bribes for a variety of reasons, from avoiding regulation to speeding up government processes or winning public tender.

The report also reveals the extent of business-to-business corruption, with executives being asked for the first time about payments made to private firms.

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