The actual risk of becoming a victim of economic crime is something most of the people questioned in our survey were well aware of: over three quarters (78 percent) see this risk as high or very high. Although  - and this may seem surprising on first sight  - they see it as being higher in other companies. Only 30 percent of companies surveyed actually feared that they might be affected themselves. This comes from our recent study “Economic crime in Germany 2020”, in which close to 1,000 companies in Germany took part.

Companies claim their own protection is good

The replies as to how they rated their own level of protection demonstrate that companies feel they are well or even very well protected  - in smaller businesses, 85 percent of those asked stated this; in larger companies, it rose as high as 92 percent. This very positive rating explains the relatively low level of concern in companies about becoming victims of economic crime themselves.   

Good protection seems to be worth it. Companies who did not claim that they had particularly good protection measures in place reported twice as frequently that they had already been hit by economic criminal activities than companies with very good measures in place (34 percent compared to 17 percent).

Money laundering: Companies in the finance sector rate the risk more highly

When estimating the risk of being affected by money laundering, there is a big difference between companies in the finance sector and companies in other sectors. In the finance sector, 75 percent of companies currently feel that the risk is high or very high; in other sectors, only 30 percent of companies state this.

This different risk rating between sectors was something we also saw in our 2018 study. For companies in the finance sector, the replies in the current study have actually increased: from 60 percent in 2018 to 75% in the current edition (other sectors: 27 percent in 2018, 30 percent currently). One reason for this might be the 5th EU Money Laundering Directive, which came into force in the time between these two surveys, and which was enacted in national law on 1 January 2020. 

The threat of white-collar crime also comes from within. That is why it is so important to minimise the risk of white-collar crime through targeted prevention measures, such as awareness training or the clear definition of principles of conduct and guiding principles.

Barbara Scheben
Partner, Head of Forensic

Some other interesting results of the study relate to 

  • the cost of economic crime, 
  • preventive measures and awareness training,
  • impacts (fines, damage to reputation),
  • breaking sanction and embargo rules, 
  • digitalisation of the compliance function.

Download our study “Economic crime in Germany 2020” here .

Your contact

Barbara Scheben

Partner, Head of Forensic, Head of Data Protection

KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft