A new report shows that 76% of companies across Sub-Saharan Africa as susceptible to financial c***e, despite the fact that an average of 5% of global turnover is being spent on customer and third-party due diligence checks.
Globally, the number stands at 72%, according to the 2019 report by Refinitiv, one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure.
Gaps in formal compliance persist – globally, over half (51%) of external relationships did not have an initial formal due diligence check at the on boarding stage and this situation was echoed by 46% of respondents across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Respondents are, however, aware of the potential of innovation and that technology can help organisations to turn the tide and win the w*r against financial c***e.
According to the report, over two thirds (69%) across the region are struggling to harness technological advancements, with a greater percentage in Nigeria (71%) than South Africa (66%) expressing this concern.
A lack of digitisation is evident and may be stalling progress – across the region just 56% of the data and legal documentation actually obtained to carry out due diligence is in a digitised format.
Respondents remain committed to working together to combat financial c***e, with 86% across the globe and 85% across Sub-Saharan Africa saying that they consider the benefits outweigh the risks when sharing information and collaborating against financial c***e.
“Clean, complete and reliable data is the foundation of effective due diligence. This, combined with invaluable human expertise and the right technology can create a powerful combination to fight back against financial c*******s,” it says.
According to the report, 80% of firms in Nigeria are aware of financial c***e in their global operations.It says 43% of external relationships in South Africa and 48% in Nigeria did not have an initial formal due diligence check at the onboarding stage.
On the other hand, 100% in Nigeria and 97% in South Africa Mexico believe that technology can significantly help with financial c***e prevention.66% in South Africa and 71% in Nigeria struggle to harness technological advancements.
In Nigeria, just 55% of collected data and legal documentation used to carry out due diligence is in a digitised format. 78% of companies in Nigeria and 66% in South Africa are prioritising automation and digitisation for investment.
Globally, 81% of companies and 83% in Sub-Saharan Africa say data privacy regulations are restricting their ability to collaborate against financial c***e. The report also shows 88% of firms across Sub-Saharan Africa believe humans are a necessary asset to source trusted data and train algorithms.
It says 90% of companies in Nigeria (the highest in the region) can consider that the benefits outweigh the risks when sharing information and collaborating against financial c***e.Globally, 59% of companies adopted new technologies to plug compliance gaps.