European firms play dirty as competition intensifies

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Unethical business behaviour is on the rise as firms struggle to fight off the effects of the recession, according to new research by Ernst & Young.

The Ernst & Young fraud survey revealed that 25% of employees found it acceptable to give a cash bribe in order to win work. This figure rose as high as 38% in Spain, 43% in the Czech Republic and 53% in Turkey, compared to 14% in the UK.

Among senior managers, 13% believed that distorting their companys financial performance figures was justifiable in the current economic climate.

More than 2,200 employees of major firms in 22 European countries were questioned during the study, and 55% admitted that they expected corporate fraud to increase over the next five years.

In the current climate, management are under incredible pressure to sta...

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