One in six Irish executives perceive bribery and corruption to be widespread in this country according to the results of EY's latest annual global fraud survey.

A majority of the Irish respondents among the 2,700 global executives questioned for the survey said cybercrime was a high risk to their businesses though Irish companies reported a lower incidence of major fraud than the global average.

“I think it’s probably quite a reasonable percentage, 16% of respondents felt there was some kind of bribery and corruption”, said Julie Fenton, partner and head of EY's Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services practice in Ireland.

She said that a far larger number of respondents – 39% - felt it was okay to give entertainment to win business, the intention of which was to influence the outcome of a contract. In that context, she said the 16% figure is perhaps “quite a low statistic”.

“That’s when you start to think about are we really understanding what is, or what could be construed as bribery and corruption,” she said. “It really highlights for me the pressure people must be under to feel they have to meet their financial targets to win business.”

Ms Fenton said it was the responsibility of a company’s board to ensure their business had the right culture, training and structures to ensure people know what is acceptable in terms of how they work.


MORNING BRIEFS - The Financial Times reports this morning that half a trillion dollars, that's 500 billion, is held by just 14 US technology and pharmaceutical companies in various offshore locations including Ireland.

Those companies, including Microsoft, Google and Johnson and Johnson, paid an average tax rate on their overseas earnings of 10% last year it says.

*** Passenger numbers at Aer Lingus regional, operated by Stobart Air, hit a record of just over 122,000 last month. May was the 11th consecutive month of growth for the airline which appears to have been completely unaffected by industrial action at Aer Lingus itself. The regional carrier flew almost 32,000 more passengers than in the same month last year. The Heineken Cup final boosted traffic on its service to Cardiff during the month. The opening of two Aer Lingus routes, to San Francisco and Toronto, has seen Aer Lingus regional double the number of passengers it is carrying from the UK into Ireland to connect on Transatlantic flights.

*** Intel, one of Ireland's most significant multinational employers and investors, has said annual sales will rise this financial year for the first time since 2011. The chipmaker's shares rose over 6% in after-hours trading as Intel predicted revenues in the current quarter could be as high as $13.7 billion up from an earlier forecast of $13 billion. Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich said the company was seeing stronger-than-expected demand for new computers containing its chips from business users.