Survey: Russian Firms Most Willing to Bribe

LONDON — A survey of senior business executives from around the world rated companies based in Russia as the most likely to pay bribes to win business in other countries.

Anti-corruption organization Transparency International, which published the survey on Tuesday, said the results showed that companies based in emerging markets were the most likely to engage in bribery when doing business abroad.

Companies based in Belgium and Canada were rated as the least likely to make payoffs.

1. Belgium8.81. Russia5.9
1. Canada8.82. China6.5
3. Netherlands8.73. Mexico6.6
3. Switzerland8.74. India6.8
5. Germany8.65. Brazil7.4
5. Japan8.65. Italy7.4
5. United Kingdom8.6

The survey asked 2,742 executives from 26 countries about the likelihood of foreign companies from countries they have dealings with to pay bribes when operating in the executives' home countries.

Transparency International then used the executives' responses to rank 22 of the world's largest countries on a scale of one to 10, with 10 indicating a country whose companies are the least prone to bribery.

Each country's ranking was determined by answers from between 114 and 718 executives, depending on the number of executives that had experience with each country.

The world's key emerging markets all came in at the bottom of the table. Russia ranked 22nd — or worst — with a score of 5.9.

China, Mexico and India were just above Russia with scores of 6.5, 6.6 and 6.8.

Belgium and Canada tied for first at 8.8 each, with the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Britain and Japan coming close on their heels, with scores of between 8.6 and 8.7.

The United States came in ninth, tied with Singapore and France at 8.1.

Juanita Riano, who co-authored Transparency International's report on the survey, said the most surprising finding was the relatively small variation in scores between the top and bottom ranking countries.

"Even the top performers aren't scoring that well," she said.

"There is a problem across all countries."

All of the ranked countries except Russia, India, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are signatories to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's convention against bribery.