The Refinitiv survey reveals how the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly raised customer and third-party risks, but also highlights the potential of technology to reshape them.

Although Covid-19 has been extremely disruptive, compliance gaps had been a persistent problem long before the pandemic. And, as business activities continue to move online across industries, the opportunities for cybercriminals to conduct illicit deeds flourishes — raising already high levels of organizational risk.

  • 71% of respondents said cybercrime became more difficult to contain during Covid-19
  • Only 44% of third-party relationships have been through due diligence checks, down 5% from previous year
  • 86% of respondents agreed that innovative digital technologies have helped them identify financial crime

Taking shortcuts

The Refinitiv survey reflects companies’ difficulties, with 65% of respondents agreeing that the pandemic has forced them to take shortcuts with know your customer (KYC) and due diligence checks. Although Covid-19 has been extremely disruptive, compliance gaps had been a persistent problem long before the pandemic. Our 2019 risk survey found that 49% of third-party relationships had been subject to due diligence checks, compared to 44% in 2021. On a more positive note, our current survey shows a growing awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and green crime, suggesting that the pandemic may have created a turning point.

Technology and data show us the way

By heightening and exposing risks, the pandemic is also helping organisations to address them. The best way to do so is clearly highlighted by our survey: technology, data and automation are not only enablers, they can also act as transformers. Organisations which use innovative technologies are not just better protected from customer and third-party risk, they are more aware of them and crucially are more likely to continue investing in further prevention and mitigation.

Collaboration is key

Another key trend seen during the pandemic has been greater collaboration – whether it’s between businesses, people or institutions – for the common good. Here, we find that those already using technology to combat financial crime are 60% more likely to collaborate with enforcement agencies than those not using such technology. This gives us renewed hope that the collaborative approach which we have long championed at Refinitiv – between enforcement agencies, innovators and non-governmental organisations, to name but a  few – can be strengthened by recent events and enable us to forge a safer future, together.

Download the report to explore in-depth how the pandemic has altered the risk landscape, and examine the inter-connected roles of data, technology, and collaboration that can help expose hidden criminal activities > 

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Source: Refinitiv Risk