Transparency International releases 2019 Corruption Perception Index

With the Oscars just around the corner, it is easy to forget that there has been another long list of hopefuls that have been eagerly awaiting judgment by a panel of experts. Who will take the grand prize? And who will be left disappointed? That’s right – It’s the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2019 (“CPI”) and – on Thursday 23 January – the world watched as the results were announced.

The CPI is an important piece of information for all UK regulated businesses as the CPI is endorsed as good country corruption guidance by the FCA, Bank of England and HMRC.

Generally, the results for this year were disappointing. Not only are more than two-thirds of countries – along with many of the world’s most advanced economies – stagnating, some are seriously backsliding. There are worrying signs of both amongst G7 countries. The United States, for example, has received its lowest score in eight years. Canada has dropped out of the top 10, while France and the UK both score lower than last year.

In a high-profile battle reminiscent of Blur Vs Oasis, the struggle between Denmark and New Zealand continues and – this year – New Zealand reclaimed the top spot with a score of 87. At the other end of the table, Somalia and South Sudan performed even worse than last year with scores of 9 and 12 respectively. Notable improvers include Greece (48 – up from 45) and Guyana (40 – up from 37) whilst notable decliners are Canada (77 – down from 81) and Nicaragua (22 – down from 25).

Transparency International’s analysis indicates that the stream of big money in politics is linked to higher rates of corruption and also that lower CPI scores are closely associated with higher concentrations of power among the rich, where poorer citizens have little to no political influence.

In assisting businesses in crafting their anti-money laundering systems and controls, Compliance On Demand incorporates the CPI into Risk Assessments to craft a country ranked white/grey/black list. By segmenting the list, clients are given clear direction when drafting their Risk Assessment and when undertaking Customer Due Diligence.

We will be rolling out updates to our clients’ country lists shortly, which will incorporate the latest EU official guidance.

Published on January 31, 2020