Nearly half of large global organisations have been victims of fraud, theft, money laundering or other forms of financial crime in the past year, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

In a survey of more than 2,300 senior business leaders, cybercrime and fraud were globally cited as the most common financial crimes. The companies surveyed estimated a total loss of $1.45 trillion, or around 3.5 per cent of their global turnover.

In the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) alone, 45 per cent of organisations were victim of financial crime, compared to the global figure of 47 per cent.

“Across the Mena region, 96 per cent believe that bribery and corruption is an important issue to tackle, and 97 per cent are supportive of sharing compliance best practice by companies,” said Nadim Najjar, managing director for the Mena region at Thomson Reuters.

But companies are not without blame.

In its survey, Thomson Reuters uncovered shortcomings, with just 57 per cent of respondents globally indicating they fully screen, and only 52 per cent indicating they fully conduct due diligence. In the Mena region, just 60 per cent said they fully conduct due diligence.

“Even though companies across the region are spending an average of 3.8 per cent of their global turnover to fight financial crime, gaps in compliance remain,” Najjar said.

The report also said that 41 per cent of known instances of financial crime are not reported, either internally or externally. The reasons for this include bribery and corruption involving someone internally as well as concerns about reputational damage, financial loss, and loss of investor confidence.

— With inputs from Reuters