Stepping out from the dark

In 2021, as the world begins to step out of the darkness of the pandemic, the financial support that governments have put in place will start to wane, and with that, the fraud, corruption, and white-collar crime that may have lain hidden since March 2020 will begin to surface. In our view – as you will see throughout this publication – it is not too late to review and improve corporate compliance programs, and such action may even help mitigate issues yet to come to light.

As ever, the AB&C risks in 2021 are there for all, but well-prepared, well-run organizations should be able to navigate the road ahead efficiently and effectively. Read on to find out how.

Embracing the new decade with optimism, we framed last year’s Outlook as a fresh start – but who could have foreseen the events that would follow. As such, we enter 2021 with considerable uncertainty, and expect the year to be shaped by ongoing political disruption and pandemic-related pressure. Countries hoping to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic have faced further restrictions to both business and personal life; the United Kingdom is only just beginning to understand the true impacts of Brexit; and the United States is transitioning to a new administration after a turbulent few weeks.

Despite these unpredictable times, we have still been able to identify some unifying trends in key industries and jurisdictions around the world. Over the course of 2021, we expect to see continued cross-border enforcement activity and collaboration, the alignment of European corporate criminal liability laws with equivalent U.S. legislation, and a more global crackdown on bribery and money laundering. Organizations in the financial services and technology sectors are likely to be under increased scrutiny this year, and it is not lost on us that the very technology companies in the spotlight are the ones helping the world keep turning during the pandemic.

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