A new survey from Ernst & Young provides disturbing insight into business corruption around the world.
The survey asked fraud-related questions to 3,000 people in various corporate positions -- from board members and corporate executive to managers and employees -- in 36 countries -- from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, in addition to India.
One of the most concerning results: one in five have actually seen financial manipulation happening in their companies. Board directors and senior managers are hardly oblivious with 42 percent saying they are aware of some type of irregular financial reporting in their company. Not only that, 57 percent of those surveyed believe that corrupt practices are widespread throughout their country.
In addition, 38 percent of all respondents — and 45 percent of those in rapid-growth markets — said companies in their country report that their finances are better than they are in reality.
One possible explanation for this unethical behavior? Increased pressure to perform in a difficult global economy.
But no matter what the excuse, it's a troubling trend for investors and corporate officials alike.