Kuwait’s Degree Crackdown: A Wake-Up Call for Employee Screening

Kuwait’s Degree Crackdown: A Wake-Up Call for Employee Screening – Act Now or Risk Consequences

Kuwait’s proactive steps to validate the academic qualifications of its government employees signals a broader trend in addressing the challenges of fake academic credentials. This measure is crucial, particularly considering recent global incidents of degree fraud. A striking example is the South Florida fake nursing diploma scandal, where over 7,600 fraudulent diplomas were issued by three nursing schools, leading to charges against more than 25 individuals involved in this wire fraud scheme. These fraudulent credentials provided a shortcut for individuals to qualify for and pass nursing board exams, subsequently gaining employment in the healthcare sector. Each defendant in this case faces up to 20 years in prison​​.

 

Kuwait Case Highlights

Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission’s extensive effort to verify academic degrees held by government employees reflects a significant step in ensuring integrity and competence within the public sector. This comprehensive initiative, covering both Kuwaiti nationals and expatriates since 2000, is a response to growing concerns about the prevalence of fake degrees.

Dr. Hamad Al-Matar, chairman of the parliamentary Education, Culture, and Guidance Affairs Committee, highlighted the severity of the issue when he revealed that an investigation had uncovered 142 Kuwaitis in public institutions holding forged certificates from various Egyptian universities. This discovery underscores the widespread nature of the problem and the government’s commitment to addressing it.

The consequences of detecting a fake degree are severe, with legal actions including revocation of employment for those found guilty. This crackdown on fake degrees is part of Kuwait’s broader strategy to strengthen the credibility of its workforce and maintain high standards in its educational and professional sectors. The implications of this initiative are significant, given that foreigners make up a considerable portion (3.2 million) of Kuwait’s population. By implementing these measures, Kuwait is setting a precedent in the region for maintaining the integrity of academic qualifications and professional standards.

Kuwait’s Degree Crackdown underscores the critical need for rigorous employee screening and credential verification. They serve as a stark reminder of the risks posed by unverified academic claims, which can lead to serious consequences for businesses and institutions. This global trend of fake degree scandals accentuates the importance of diligence in the verification process for educational institutions and businesses hiring new employees.

Employee Background Checks - EmploySmart™ by CRI Group™

How Employee Background Screening Can Benefit Your Businesses

Employee background screening offers several corporate benefits that contribute to the overall health and success of an organization. Here are six key advantages:

 

1. Verification of Educational Credentials

Conducting thorough background checks on educational credentials is a crucial defense against the hiring of individuals with fake degrees. This process includes verifying the authenticity of diplomas and transcripts directly with educational institutions. The verification confirms the legitimacy of the academic qualifications and ensures the credibility of the skills and knowledge the candidate claims to have. This is particularly important in fields where specialized knowledge is critical to job performance and can mitigate risks associated with underqualified personnel making critical decisions or performing complex tasks.

2. Ensuring Qualified Personnel

By verifying academic achievements, companies ensure that their staff possess the requisite education and training for their roles. This is essential in industries like healthcare, engineering, and finance, where specialized knowledge is directly linked to job performance and safety. Qualified personnel are more likely to understand the complexities of their roles and perform them competently, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall productivity.

3. Upholding Industry Standards and Compliance

Many industries are regulated by laws that require employees to have certain qualifications. For instance, the healthcare sector often requires specific degrees and certifications. Background checks help ensure that employees meet these requirements, thereby maintaining compliance with industry regulations. Failure to do so can result in legal penalties, loss of licenses, and damage to the company’s credibility.

4. Reducing Risks of Malpractice and Liability

Employing individuals with fraudulent qualifications in critical roles can lead to professional malpractice, especially in fields like medicine, law, and engineering. Inadequate qualifications can result in poor decision-making, leading to accidents, legal suits, and financial losses. Background screening minimizes this risk by ensuring employees have the genuine qualifications they claim, protecting the company from potential liabilities and lawsuits.

5. Maintaining Company Reputation

A company’s reputation can be severely damaged if it’s discovered that employees have fake degrees. Such revelations can undermine public trust and confidence in the organization. Rigorous background screening processes help in maintaining a workforce with legitimate qualifications, thus preserving the company’s reputation for integrity and reliability. This is especially crucial in today’s digital age, where information spreads rapidly online.

6. Long-term Cost Savings

The initial investment in comprehensive background screening can lead to significant long-term savings. Hiring employees with fake degrees can result in poor job performance, leading to costly mistakes, increased training costs, and higher employee turnover. Effective screening reduces the likelihood of such hires, thus saving the company from potential financial losses and the cost of rehiring and retraining new employees.

 

Know Your Team Inside-Out with EmploySmart™

The recent initiative by Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission to meticulously scrutinize the educational certificates of all government employees, dating back to 2000, is a significant move in combating the issue of forged degrees.  In this context, EmploySmart™ by CRI Group™ becomes a crucial tool for businesses looking to ensure the authenticity of their employees’ qualifications. Our service is designed to provide an in-depth and comprehensive screening of potential and current employees. Here’s how EmploySmart™ can help businesses in the wake of the Kuwait case:

  • In-depth Verification: EmploySmart™ goes beyond surface-level checks to offer a comprehensive verification process that delves into every aspect of a candidate’s background. This includes an exhaustive analysis of educational credentials, ensuring the degrees and certifications listed are legitimate and conferred by accredited institutions. We extend our scrutiny to employment history, meticulously verifying past employments, job titles, and work performances. Professional references are not just contacted; they are thoroughly interviewed to glean insights into the candidate’s work ethic, skills, and behaviors. This all-encompassing approach ensures that every team member is qualified on paper and brings genuine expertise and experience to their role.

 

  • Compliance Assurance: EmploySmart™ provides a crucial service in ensuring that your hiring processes align with legal and regulatory frameworks. Drawing lessons from the Nazaha case in Kuwait, we understand the importance of adhering to legal standards in hiring practices. Our service meticulously checks for compliance with local, national, and international employment laws, helping you avoid the legal pitfalls and liabilities arising from non-compliant hiring practices. This includes ensuring adherence to data protection laws during the background check process, thereby safeguarding both the candidate’s rights and the company’s legal standing.

 

  • Risk Mitigation: In today’s complex business environment, mitigating risk is a top priority. EmploySmart™ plays a pivotal role in this aspect by rigorously vetting potential hires for falsified credentials. The threat posed by unqualified personnel in critical roles can be immense, particularly in sectors where specialized knowledge and skills are paramount. EmploySmart™’s diligent background checks protect your operations from the risks associated with fraudulent qualifications and preserve public trust and confidence in your organization.

 

  • Global Reach with Local Expertise: Recognizing that the modern workforce is increasingly global, EmploySmart™ offers an extensive range of background checks that encompass both local and international scopes. This dual approach ensures that their background can be thoroughly vetted no matter where a candidate has studied, worked, or lived. EmploySmart™ combines global reach with local expertise, understanding different countries’ nuances and legal requirements. This makes it an invaluable resource for businesses operating in a global marketplace, ensuring that their workforce meets the highest standards of integrity and qualification.

 

  • Customized Screening Packages: EmploySmart™ understands that different roles within a company require varying degrees of scrutiny. To address this, we offer bespoke screening packages tailored to the specific requirements of each position. Whether it’s a high-level executive role requiring in-depth financial history checks or a technical position needing detailed verification of professional certifications, EmploySmart™’s flexible approach ensures that each role receives the appropriate level of background checking. This customization enhances the screening process and ensures that resources are efficiently utilized.

 

  • Protecting Your Brand: In an era where a company’s reputation can be its most valuable asset, EmploySmart™ plays a vital role in safeguarding your brand’s integrity. By ensuring that your team is composed of individuals with verified and authentic backgrounds, EmploySmart™ helps maintain your organization’s reputation for reliability and trustworthiness. In a digital age where information is rapidly disseminated, ensuring the authenticity of your workforce is not just about compliance or risk mitigation; it’s about preserving the hard-earned trust and respect of your customers and the public.

 

Act Now for a Safer Tomorrow

In a world where the cost of hiring the wrong person can be enormous, both financially and reputationally, EmploySmart™ is not just a tool; it’s an essential component of your HR strategy. In the wake of Kuwait’s degree crackdown, let EmploySmart™ be your partner in building a trustworthy and competent workforce.

Take the Step Towards Transparency

Don’t let your company be tarnished by the risks associated with inadequate screening processes. Make the smart choice with EmploySmart™ and set a new standard in employee recruitment. Reach out to us at CRI Group™ and start a conversation about how EmploySmart™ can transform your hiring process and contribute to the long-term success of your business.

EU Shocks Global Supply Chains with Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Directive

The European Union has released a groundbreaking directive that will transform global supply chains forever. This directive will require large EU companies and non-European companies conducting significant business in Europe to assess and address their human rights and environmental impacts. The numbers are staggering – 13,000 EU companies and 4,000 non-EU companies will be affected by this monumental regulation.

But why is this directive causing such a seismic shift? The answer lies in the importance of Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) for companies. The European Union, as the headquarters of some of the world’s largest corporations, understands the critical role it plays in shaping global business practices. Shockingly, the 2020 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark revealed that 85% of alleged human rights impacts occur in developing countries, despite 78% of the implicated companies being based in OECD countries.

This directive builds upon previous transparency initiatives such as the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive and the Conflict Minerals Directive. Its aim is to hold companies accountable for their human rights and environmental impacts, ensuring they take proactive measures to prevent, mitigate, and remedy any harm caused.

Non-compliance with this groundbreaking directive will have severe consequences. Companies failing to conduct effective due diligence or implement necessary measures will face administrative penalties and civil liability.

The implications are immense. The EU’s influence on global business practices is unparalleled, with €223.3 billion worth of goods imported into its territory. This directive is set to reshape supply chains, foster responsible business conduct, and protect vulnerable workers and communities worldwide.

HUMAN RIGHTS DUE DILIGENCE_ - CRI Group™ Due Diligence Service

What is Human Rights Due Diligence?

Human Rights Due Diligence entails taking deliberate actions to ensure that their operations and choices do not contribute to or benefit from human rights abuses. It is a responsibility that extends to businesses of all sizes and sectors. HRDD requires companies to be conscious of the products they procure, the services they utilize, and whether the rights of the people involved in their production have been safeguarded.

Supply Chain and Human Rights Due Diligence

Did you know that major global players like the United States, the European Union, and Germany are taking decisive steps to ensure that supply chains uphold human rights and environmental standards? It’s a crucial development that companies cannot afford to ignore.

The movement to hold companies accountable for their supply chains is gaining momentum worldwide, emphasizing tracing activities down to raw materials. The rules vary, with some being specific to individual companies based on their registration location, while others extend to goods crossing borders, irrespective of the manufacturer’s origin. Non-compliance human right risks range from minimal enforcement to penalties, civil actions, and even goods detainment.

Let’s delve into some of the notable regulations and proposals.

While these jurisdictions are taking the lead, numerous other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, and Norway, are also considering similar measures. The global trend is clear: companies will soon face heightened expectations and obligations regarding human rights and environmental sustainability.

UN GUIDING PRINCIPLES ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS - CRI Group™

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights outline the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. These principles provide a global standard of expected conduct for all businesses and apply independently of a state’s obligations. The responsibility to respect human rights requires that businesses avoid infringing on the rights of others and address adverse human rights impacts they are involved in.

Here is a summary of the key principles:

  • Principle of Respect:

    Business enterprises should respect human rights and avoid infringing on the rights of others. This responsibility exists regardless of a state’s ability to fulfill its own human rights obligations and goes beyond compliance with national laws.

  • Internationally Recognized Human Rights:

    The responsibility to respect human rights includes internationally recognized human rights as expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

  • Avoidance of Adverse Impacts:

    Businesses should avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts and address such impacts when they occur. This includes both impacts from their own activities and impacts linked to their business relationships.

  • Size and Context:

    The means through which businesses meet their responsibility to respect human rights may vary based on factors such as size, sector, operational context, and severity of impacts. All businesses, regardless of these factors, have the responsibility to respect human rights.

  • Policy Commitment:

    Businesses should have a policy commitment to meet their responsibility to respect human rights. This commitment should be approved at the most senior level, informed by expertise, communicated internally and externally, and reflected in operational policies and procedures.

  • Human Rights Due Diligence:

    Businesses should conduct human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate, and account for their adverse human rights impacts. The complexity of due diligence may vary based on the size of the business and the severity of human rights impacts.

  • Integration and Action:

    Findings from human rights impact assessments should be integrated into relevant internal functions and processes, and appropriate actions should be taken to prevent or mitigate impacts. The enterprise should exercise leverage to address impacts it contributes to and seek to increase leverage where necessary.

  • Tracking and Communication:

    Businesses should track the effectiveness of their responses to human rights impacts and communicate externally about their actions. Communications should be accessible, provide sufficient information for evaluation, and not pose risks to stakeholders or commercial confidentiality.

  • Remediation:

    When businesses identify that they have caused or contributed to adverse impacts, they should provide for or cooperate in their remediation through legitimate processes.

  • Contextual Considerations:

    Businesses should comply with applicable laws, respect internationally recognized human rights, and treat the risk of causing or contributing to gross human rights abuses as a legal compliance issue. In complex contexts, businesses should seek external expertise from credible sources and prioritize actions to address the most severe impacts.

These principles aim to guide businesses in fulfilling their responsibility to respect human rights and promote accountability and transparency in their operations.

CRI GROUP™ ESG DUE DILIGENCE SERVICE FOR RISK MITIGATION

Choose CRI Group ESG Due Diligence Service For Risk Mitigation

With the release of groundbreaking directives and the global movement towards human rights due diligence, the business landscape is experiencing a transformative shift. At CRI Group, we understand the challenges and opportunities arising from these changes and are here to help businesses thrive in this evolving context.

As a 30-year experienced service provider, we offer comprehensive human rights due diligence solutions through our ESG due diligence services that assist companies being compliant with the laws and achieving sustainable practices. Here’s how we can support your business in the light of this changing landscape:

Expert Guidance

Our team of experts stays up-to-date with the latest regulations, directives, and guidelines surrounding human rights due diligence. We provide tailored advice and practical strategies to help you navigate the complexities of these frameworks and ensure compliance.

Due Diligence Assessments

We conduct thorough due diligence assessments, evaluating your company’s human rights practices, environmental impacts, and supply chain operations. We identify and assess actual and potential risks, areas for improvement, and opportunities for positive impact, enabling you to make informed decisions and take targeted actions.

Compliance Strategies

We assist you in developing effective compliance strategies that align with international standards and regulatory requirements. Our expertise in interpreting and implementing these frameworks helps you establish robust policies, procedures, and reporting mechanisms that demonstrate your commitment to responsible business practices.

Stakeholder Engagement

Engaging with stakeholders is crucial in the realm of human rights and environmental sustainability. We help you build meaningful relationships with stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, communities, and investors. Through transparent and inclusive communication, we help foster trust, gather valuable insights, and drive positive change.

Training and Capacity Building

We offer customized training programs and capacity-building initiatives to empower your workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the evolving landscape of responsible business practices. Our workshops and educational events enhance awareness, encourage ethical decision-making, and foster a culture of sustainability within your company’s operations.

Supply Chain Management

We assist you in implementing robust supply chain management practices that prioritize human rights, environmental sustainability, and ethical sourcing. By mapping and monitoring your supply chain, we help identify potential risks, support supplier engagement, and promote responsible sourcing practices.

Performance Measurement and Reporting

We help you develop comprehensive performance measurement frameworks and reporting systems to track your progress towards sustainability goals. Our expertise in data collection, analysis, and reporting enables you to effectively communicate your efforts, achievements, and areas for improvement to stakeholders and build trust in your commitment to responsible business practices.

Continuous Improvement

We recognize that responsible business practices require ongoing commitment and continuous improvement. Our services provide ongoing support, allowing you to adapt to evolving regulations, incorporate best practices, and continually enhance your sustainability performance.

Our due diligence services equip your business with the tools and knowledge to thrive in this dynamic landscape shaped by the EU directive and global trends. We are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of human rights due diligence, embrace sustainability, and positively impact society and the environment.

Partner with us to embrace the opportunities this changing business landscape presents and build a resilient and responsible future for your organization. Together, we can drive meaningful change and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world.

UAE Imposes Fines on Non-Compliant Corporations: Is Your Business At Risk?

UAE Businesses Beware: AED 22.6 Million in Fines for Non-Compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Regulations!

That’s right, the UAE’s Ministry of Economy has cracked down on 29 companies operating in the designated non-financial business or professions (DNFBP) sector for failing to comply with AML/CFT legislation. Violations ranged from a lack of internal policies and procedures to check customer databases against terrorism lists to failure to identify financial crime risks in their fields of work.

The message is clear – compliance with these regulations is no longer a choice, but a requirement. Businesses operating in the DNFBP sector must prioritize AML/CFT programs, including regular risk assessments, robust internal controls, and employee training.

Importance of AML/CFT compliance

The importance of anti-money laundering (AML) compliance cannot be overstated, especially within the UAE’s landscape, where the government is cracking down on non-compliant corporations. A robust AML compliance policy can not only protect against money laundering and terrorist financing but can also prevent fraud. Here are five key reasons why AML compliance is critical for businesses operating in the UAE.

Threat Evolution:

Criminal methods have become more sophisticated and complex, making them difficult to detect. Lone-wolf terrorists, cyber-enabled criminals, and e-commerce criminals are trending types of criminals in the UAE. It’s essential for businesses to stay ahead of these threats by complying with AML regulations.

Reputational Risk:

A crisis in Anti Money Laundering compliance can severely harm a company’s reputation and negatively affect customer trust. Companies that have been investigated or fined for non-compliance may need to appear more trustworthy to customers, leading to a loss of business. Protect your reputation by implementing a robust AML compliance program.

Poor Client Experience:

Non-compliance with AML regulations can increase the potential risk of fraud. A successful fraud attack can also affect the customers of a company. Don’t put your clients at risk – ensure that your business is fully compliant with AML regulations.

Regulatory Action:

The UAE has strict AML regulations that require financial institutions and businesses to comply with customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, and reporting of suspicious activities. Failure to comply can result in hefty fines and penalties imposed by regulatory authorities. Non-compliant businesses may face severe legal consequences, including criminal liability for individuals within the organization.

Financial Crime Persistence:

Enforcing AML regulations is crucial as financial crimes remain a persistent issue in the UAE. Money laundering enables criminal organizations to disguise the origin of their illegal proceeds, which can lead to economic instability, funding of terrorism, and loss of public trust in the financial system. Stay ahead of the game and maintain the integrity of your business by complying with AML regulations.

Penalties and Consequences

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy is intensifying field inspections and providing awareness and training support to DNFBP companies to ensure compliance with AML/CFT legislation and international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). With further punitive measures on the horizon, it’s more important than ever for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and ensure that they are fully compliant with AML/CFT regulations.

The penalties for non-compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations are severe, and businesses must take them seriously. Failure to comply with AML/CFT laws can result in heavy fines, damage to reputation, and even criminal prosecution.

The consequences of non-compliance are not to be taken lightly. Heavy fines can severely impact a business’s bottom line, while damage to reputation can harm its ability to attract and retain customers. In some cases, non-compliance can even result in criminal prosecution. The risks are too great to ignore, and businesses must take the necessary steps to protect themselves.

Stay Ahead of the Curve: Protect Your Business with Robust AML Compliance

Are you concerned about the potential risks of money laundering and terrorist financing within your organization? Compliance with AML regulations is critical to protect your business and maintain the financial system’s integrity. At CRI Group™, we understand the importance of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance and offer advisory services to analyze your systems and develop effective solutions to combat money laundering. Our unmatched investigative capabilities and worldwide presence make us uniquely qualified to resolve regulatory concerns and help businesses ensure compliance with AML/CFT regulations.

If you operate in the financial sector, complying with AML regulations is essential. Failure to comply can result in fines, reputational damage, and even criminal prosecution. That’s why we recommend registering with our anti money laundering services to ensure you’re following regulations for the prevention of money laundering.

At CRI Group™, our vast Anti-Corruption and Compliance network offers the protection you need when making critical bottom-line decisions. Leave it to our experts to help you with AML compliance and provide the protection you need to combat money laundering. With our 360-degree analysis of your challenges, we can ensure that your business is fully compliant with AML/CFT regulations, reducing the risk of fines and reputational damage. Here’s how CRI Group™ Group can help:

In-Depth AML Risk Assessment:

Our team of experts will undertake a comprehensive AML risk assessment to analyze the vulnerabilities and potential threats within your organization’s operations. The assessment will incorporate an evaluation of your existing AML policies, procedures, controls, and the nature of your company’s products, services, customers, and geographic locations. Our analysis and evaluation will help in identifying potential risks and emerging trends that are necessary for effective AML risk management.

GAP Analysis for the Scope of ISO 37301 Compliance Management System:

Our team of consultants will perform a detailed GAP analysis of your organization to ensure compliance with the ISO 37301 standard. We will evaluate your current system and processes, identify shortcomings, and present recommendations to help your company fill the existing gaps. Our analysis will facilitate the understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and competencies required for compliance with the standard.

Provision of AML Framework:

We will provide a comprehensive framework to guide your organization in establishing and maintaining an effective AML compliance program. This framework will include policies, procedures, and protocols for risk assessment, customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, and reporting. Our team will work closely with your staff to implement this framework for compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and industry best practices.

Global Sanction Screening & Third-Party Risk Management:

Our screening services will help identify, assess, and mitigate the potential risks associated with third-party relationships. With our global database, we can monitor a wide range of regulatory lists and relevant databases, providing you with peace of mind that your company’s dealings with third parties will not put your organization at risk of non-compliance with AML regulations.

Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO):

Our team will assist your organization in the appointment of an MLRO. This officer will be tasked with overseeing your company’s AML policy and reporting matters to relevant regulators. We’ll help you identify a qualified MLRO who possesses the experience and knowledge required for carrying out this crucial duty effectively.

Policy Statement:

We will work with you to develop a clear and concise policy statement outlining your organization’s commitment to AML compliance. Our policy statement will outline the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the implementation of the AML policy, including the board of directors, senior management, employees, and applicable third parties/vendors. This statement will provide clarity on the compliance requirements, enhancing risk awareness and making it easier for employees to comply with AML legislation.

Identifying Financing Terrorism:

Our experts will assist you in identifying potential risks associated with financing terrorism. By conducting risk assessments and due diligence checks, we can help identify unusual transactions that could be linked to terrorist financing. Our team will help in the implementation of preventive and control measures, ensuring that your organization is always one step ahead of potential risks.

Corporate Principles – An Ethical & Integrated Business Approach:

We’ll help develop corporate principles that emphasize an ethical and integrated approach to doing business. Our team will work with you to identify fundamental values that your company stands for, and ensure that these are integrated into your operations. We’ll also help with the development of programs to encourage ethical behavior and integrity in your workforce. These corporate principles will help to build a positive reputation while displaying governance and a strong ethical culture.

Industries We Serve

At CRI Group™, we are committed to helping businesses across a wide range of industries to stay compliant with AML/CFT regulations. Our services are tailored to meet the specific needs of each industry, including:

  • Automotive: Whether you’re a car manufacturer, dealer or supplier, our AML services can help you mitigate risks and ensure compliance with AML regulations.
  • Aviation: Airlines, airports and other aviation companies face unique AML risks that require specialized solutions. Our experts can help you detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities.
  • Finance & Professional Services: Banks, financial institutions, law firms and accounting firms all require robust AML compliance programs to protect their clients and reputation. We provide tailored solutions to meet the needs of each business.
  • IT & Telecommunications: With the rise of online transactions, the IT and telecommunications industry faces new challenges in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. Our AML solutions can help you stay ahead of the curve.
  • Insurance: The insurance industry is vulnerable to money laundering and fraudulent activities. Our AML services can help you detect and prevent these risks, ensuring the integrity of the insurance system.
  • Property: The real estate industry is also vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing. Our AML solutions can help property developers, agents, and managers detect and prevent these risks.
  • Pharmaceutical & Healthcare: The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry faces a range of financial crime risks, including money laundering and bribery. Our AML services can help you ensure compliance and mitigate these risks.
  • Oil, Gas & Energy: The oil, gas and energy industry is subject to unique risks that require specialized AML solutions. Our experts can help you detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

No matter what industry your business operates in, compliance with AML/CFT regulations is crucial. With CRI Group’s industry-specific solutions, you can rest assured that your business is fully protected against the risks of financial crime.

Don’t let your business fall prey to the threat of money laundering and financial crimes. Trust CRI Group™ to provide you with the expert advisory services and protection you need to ensure compliance and success in the financial sector. Contact CRI Group™ Group for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Advisory service today and take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with AML regulations.

Think Employee Background Checks are a waste of time? Think again!

So you think an Employee Background Check is a waste of your time? Here are some alarming stories for you:

A CANDIDATE WHO HID HIS DEPLORABLE BACKGROUND

One of our clients had interviewed an impressive candidate who had done well in the interview and had all the skills for the job. But the reference list he provided seemed ambiguous which included work experiences from much former jobs and did not provide any details of his recent employers for the client to verify the authenticity. We were in a perplexed situation unable to identify whether this was a red flag in our pre-employment screening (recruitment) process or did our candidate simply lack the skills to put together a credible reference list?

To further the hiring process we had recommended the client to ask their prospective job applicant to provide relevant information of his two recent managers for background verification to which he obliged and that made him appear to be reliable.

However, this was a short-lived impression since after connecting with the line managers we discovered that this candidate had been fired by both of his last employers for theft and fraud following with jail time for those cases.

Imagine if we, like some employers, wouldn’t make an effort to go an extra mile to check employee references, conduct thorough pre-employment investigation and make sure that each and every provided information is reliable only to put the corporation at the verge of reputational risk?

An open-ended question for our readers! Would your employee background screening practices have kept this from happening to you, or would this guy now be working down the hall from you, swindling you too? 

The lesson from this incident clearly is: Don’t limit yourself only to the candidate’s list of references. If the candidate has offered peers or personal references rather than managers, ask to be put in touch with the specific people you want to talk to. Call the main switchboard numbers rather than the direct number you were given. For all you know, the candidate could have given you a friend’s phone number so the friend can pose as the former boss. Ask the right questions. If you just run through a perfunctory list of questions, you may never get to the most useful information. References are only a waste of time if you treat them like just an item to check off your list, rather than as a genuinely valuable part of your assessment process.

Downside of Negligent Hiring 

Recruiters should also have a clear understanding of the skills an applicant needs to possess to succeed in their job role. AJ Silberman-Moffitt, senior editor at search marketing agency Tandem Buzz, learned just how wrong things can go when the wrong candidate is hired while she was training her replacement after accepting a promotion. “Because she worked in a position with the same title as mine, there was no reason to think she would not know how to use the necessary tools and software,” Silberman-Moffitt said. “She answered everything appropriately in the interview, and the HR manager and I hired her,” according to a report in the businessnewsdaily.com.

 
Once the new hire accepted the offer, it quickly became evident she didn’t have the skill set needed to do the job. “When she started, and I began to train her, it was like a deer staring into headlights,” Silberman-Moffitt recalls. “Even the simplest tasks, such as entering information into Excel, were difficult for her. It seemed that traffic at an agency and a television station were not as similar as I thought they would be. “The recruitment ended in defeat, resulting in wasted time and money, Silberman-Moffitt said. “Ultimately, she was let go because she couldn’t grasp the job.” During the hiring process, consider giving applicants an assessment or a test. Aptitude tests and projects aren’t always necessary, but these procedures evaluate whether the candidate can perform the responsibilities of the role. If you use any software or tools that are central to the role, it’s best to ask targeted questions about the applicant’s experience with them.

 

Why an Employee Background Vetting is an Indispensable Recruitment Tool

Employee Background check concepts are inescapable for your organisation if you are looking to minimise risks surrounding a bad hire. The concept of pre-employment screening has become one of the most significant phases in the recruitment process.

The escalating figure of crime scenes and fraudulence incidents justifies why organisations take up this step. Within the dynamic business environment we’re operating in, corporations are now more inclined towards being vigilant of the quality of employees they are hiring. Specifically, the human resource managers are strategizing to reduce employee turnover and burnout rate thereby increasing retention of competent employees. With the vision of achieving a sustainable workplace environment, pre-employment screening and comprehensive background checks are becoming an essential instrument to welcome and retain the finest possible.  

The concept of Employee Background Check

An Employee Background Check is a worthwhile concept as employers strive to have the best pick from the candidates who show up for the recruitment process. After the interview sessions are over, a minimum of two weeks is required to get through the employee background screening procedure before you can finalise the hires. Since this procedure requires a thorough knowledge of regulatory compliance and investigative analytical skills, corporations outsource this service to the industrial experts to conduct a comprehensive verification of employee’s academic, professional and even social presence. After the employer is gratified with the check, the employee is offered an appointment letter to join them.

 

CRI Group’s EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within your organisation. 

Download our EmploySmart brochure or get a free quote to ensure a safe work environment for all.

Advantages of an Employee Background Check

Organisations carry out such checks due to a myriad of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Validating the resume
  • Learning about the nature of the candidate
  • Behaviour at past offices
  • Learning about criminal experience

What to include in Employee Background Checks?

  • History of employment: Verify the references given by the candidate as it confirms their behavioural and working patterns with previous employers. 
  • Criminal background: It is essential to confirm that the candidate does not have a criminal history.
  • Credit history: Knowing the credit rating of your candidate is also important as this reveals the integrity of the employees. 
  • Terror Watch List: For the businesses running in countries like the USA, checking the Terror Watch List against names of their candidates is especially critical.
  • Checking Social Security: Organisations should check the legitimacy of Social Security Numbers of candidates. This will also confirm if the candidate has been using other names.
  • Checking public/court records: This is done to check if the candidate has been implicated in any sort of court proceedings or not.
  • Reference checks: There are two types of reference Employee Background Checks: personal and employment. Both facilitate in confirming the integrity, reliability, steadiness, and personality of the employee.
  • Checking Sex Offender Registry: A Sex Offender Registry check must be conducted as well so you don’t endanger others, especially in roles surrounding children and other susceptible individuals, by hiring a sexual predator.
  • Education check: This is carried out to determine the authenticity of the various credentials provided by the candidate you are planning to recruit.
  • Driving Records: If your candidate is required to drive a company-owned vehicle, then checking driving records and license is essential for you.
  • Record of Military Service: You need to pay attention to some key measures while hiring a candidate with a military service record. That is why checking the military service records of your candidates is also important.
  • Compensation Record: Checking the candidate’s compensation claims from past employers is also significant before hiring an employee.

In conducting employee background checks, there are some golden rules that one needs to observe to avoid any legal complications. These do and don’ts include but are not limited to:

Do’s

  • Having a consistent background checks policy and detailing how the policy should be used.
  • Getting legal advice on how to conduct background checks under the local legal framework.
  • Giving the applicants a chance to clear up any faults or misconstructions appearing on their documentations and during the interview process.
  • Employing a Background Check service provider who is compliant with the legal frameworks of your region
  • Understanding the difference between background checks vs investigative consumer reports.

Don’ts

  • Avoid background checks on an applicant-by-applicant basis. The checks should be carried out for everyone.
  • Avoid making the assumption that some parts of the background check process are routine
  • Avoid making decisions without giving the applicant a chance to respond.
  • Avoid assuming that any companies seeking information about an individual are legally compliant.
  • Avoid requesting information about the character or personal and the private life of an individual while verifying the historical employment facts.

Necessities for conducting Employee Background Checks

  • You need to have a candidate’s full name, date of birth, and Social Security Number for doing a background check.
  • If you want to check credit reports, military records, and school transcripts, you need the candidate’s permission.
  • If you hire an outside company to do the background check, you need to take the candidate’s permission.
  • If the candidate denies the permission, you will be entitled to take the candidate out of consideration for that job profile.

What are the disadvantages of an Employee Background Check?

One of the major disadvantages is that you might see this as a wastage of time and money. An organisation invests large sums of money in conducting such investigations, and most of the time, the person turns out to be a genuine one and with the time it takes to conduct these checks, the candidate may think that the organisation is not interested and hence, they may join some other organisation in this period.

Judging a candidate on his/her background deeds may not always prove to be fruitful either. It may happen that a candidate got trapped in a criminal offence and in an actual sense, they are a gem of a person. But when you do not know the candidate personally, you will focus on the verification reports and let a genuine person go.

If there is still any uncertainty in your mind about conducting employee background checks, why not reach out to us? CRI Group has experts across the globe from all backgrounds who are trained to provide you with specialised, expert advice fit for your business needs. Get in touch today!

GET IN TOUCH

Who is CRI Group™?

Based in London, CRI Group™ works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue Diligence, TPRMCompliance Solutions, and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group™ also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group™ launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC™) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC™ operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. 

Contact ABAC™ for more on ISO Certification and training.

How does Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation in EU affect Asia

With the EU Due Diligence Legislation in play, the concept of mandatory human rights due diligence for companies is gaining momentum among governments and businesses in Europe. So how does this legislation matter? In terms of working conditions in India, for example, a government report found that:

  • A sizeable number of workers in India earn less than half of the accepted minimum wage
  • 71% do not have a written employment contract
  • 54% do not get paid leave
  • Nearly 80% of these in urban areas work well beyond the eight-hour workday (48-hour week).

The tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2013, which claimed the lives of over 1,000 people, confirmed for European lawmakers the need to establish a strict liability regime for corporate supply chains, says a report by Dr Daniel Sharma on dlapiper.com

The EU Due Diligence Legislation imposes liabilities on companies that procure their products through supply chains from India and South Asia and sell them in Europe. The aim is to establish sanctions under public law and establish complaint procedures for affected parties. 

Navigating Human Rights Due Diligence Requirements

Let us take a look at how companies with supply chains to India and South Asia can safely navigate this new regulatory landscape at the EU level:

  • A good start would be to conduct an independent risk analysis of the company’s value chains, looking at the risk of potential human rights or environmental violations. Needless to say, this risk analysis must be conducted by independent third parties with knowledge of systems in India and South Asia.
  • Companies should create a compliance structure and screening mechanism taking into account the cultural diversity of India and South Asia and ensuring that suppliers comply with the due diligence obligations.
  • Companies must conduct a risk analysis of their value chains annually to verify that the due diligence mechanisms installed concerning their value chains are working and conduct an effective analysis of their preventive grievance mechanisms.
  • Preventive measures need to be adopted for factors identified within the company’s value chain during the required risk analysis. This should be done by preparing agreements in which the suppliers are also required to comply with due diligence requirements relating to human rights, labour and environmental standards.
  • Issuance of a policy statement regarding respect for human rights and the use of transparent and public reporting processes will also make the system robust for both the company as well as their suppliers.
  • Random checks of the aforementioned requirements at regular intervals should also be part of effective supplier management, and suppliers can be asked to ensure that compliance standards are also observed in the downstream value chains.

Implementing the above will allow companies to safely navigate European supply chain legislation without exposing themselves to sanctions or penalties.

We Can Help With Human Rights Due Diligence

The CRI Group™ has developed a highly specialised assessment solution for Corporate Due Diligence to assist organisations in accurately identifying, preventing, mitigating and addressing actual and potential adverse impacts of affiliating with global partners and complying with all EU mandates.

From enhanced due diligence to identify non-compliance with the regulatory framework and damaging environmental allegations to investigating company (or stakeholder) human rights violations related to labour laws, child labour or human trafficking, CRI Group™ experts help determine the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners and suppliers affiliated with your company’s value chain.

About CRI Group™

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research Solutions provider.

We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications and is an HRO-certified provider and partners with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC™) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification.

ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. Contact ABAC™ for more on ISO Certification and training.

Background Investigations: One-on-one interview with Zafar Anjum

Background Investigations: One-on-one Interview with Zafar Anjum

Having dedicated his career to a background investigation, fraud prevention, protective integrity, security and compliance, Zafar Anjum is a distinguished and highly respected professional in his field. As Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI Group™), he uses his extensive knowledge and expertise in creating stable and secure networks across challenging global markets. For organisations needing comprehensive project management, security, safeguard testing, background investigations and real-time compliance applications, Anjum is the assurance expert of choice for industry professionals.

Q: To what extent have you seen an increase in corporate fraud in recent years? What are some of the common themes and underlying causes?

Anjum: Fraud always seems to be increasing. No matter how sophisticated our attempts to prevent it become, perpetrators are always adapting with new methods. According to the 2020 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Report to the nations, asset misappropriation is the leading type of occupational fraud. It makes up 86% of fraud cases and causes a median loss of $100,000. On the other spectrum, financial statement fraud schemes are the least common (10% of cases) but are the most costly, causing a median loss of $954,000. A typical fraud case can last 14 months before detection and cause a loss of $8,300 per month – a whopping 5% of an organisations revenue is lost to fraud each year. There are various factors at play here, but it starts with ‘tone at the top’. Basically, corporate culture often sets the tone for how strict or lax an organisation prevents or detects fraud. Combine a lax approach with a country or jurisdiction where corruption is still prevalent, even considered ‘business as usual, and there will likely be a fraud.

Q: Could you outline the benefits of using background investigations to reduce potential fraud? Under what circumstances is it prudent to undertake a background investigation?

Anjum: It should be a priority to conduct thorough background investigations when engaging in a merger or acquisition, an initial public offering (IPO), engaging suppliers, contractors or new clients – your client relationships can affect your organisation’s reputation and your ability – to name a few situations. This can help you avoid becoming entangled with third parties that have hidden fraud and other legal issues. It will also make you aware of a potential partner who has credit risk, has claimed bankruptcy or is faced with debtor filings, for example. In one case, a company was seeking to engage a new supplier for medical supplies and equipment. A background investigation revealed that the warehouse’s physical location – claimed by this ‘supplier’ did not exist. The company’s principal had previously been charged with a ‘criminal breach of trust’. Three other civil damages claims against the principal were discovered, with millions claimed in liabilities.

Q: What are some of the best practice approaches to conducting a background investigation? 

Anjum: One of the most important aspects of thorough background investigations is having a ‘boots on the ground approach. Online database searches can only take you so far. When conducting due diligence on entities or individuals, red flags that pop up often warrant further checking before they can be truly weighed as part of the decision process. For example, if you are considering partnering with another company and providing information for their physical location, do you have agents who can visit that location to make sure it is legitimate? Investigations sometimes discover that purported ‘headquarters’ is actually an abandoned home or vacant lot. Also, if certain credentials are claimed, you need to make phone calls or possibly a visit to the school or accrediting bodies to verify them. These are the important details that help you with facts that help guide your decisions.

EFFECTIVE RISK MANAGEMENT THROUGH BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS. FIND OUT HERE

 

Q: What kinds of legal or regulatory issues might complicate a background investigation?

Anjum: Privacy laws are probably the most important issue, and they need to be carefully understood and followed for every jurisdiction. In the UK, for example, the pandemic has created new data privacy issues, but prudent organisations are constantly evaluating their data protection strategies under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). When it comes to background investigations, similar privacy considerations apply. You might want to check an individuals’ financial or credit history – relevant information if they own a business you seek to partner with or acquire, or if you are considering them for a high-level position at your organisation. Accessing such information is permitted in some jurisdictions and restricted by law in others. The last thing you want is to end up in court for violating someone’s privacy. It is best to engage a professional due diligence background screening firm. They will be trained and up-to-date on the laws governing your background investigations, plus they will have access to resources that most companies do not have.

Q: To what extent are background investigations more challenging in a cross-border or multi-jurisdictional context? How can these additional challenges be overcome or avoided?

Anjum: This goes back to the importance of having investigators in various locations, your ‘boots on the ground’, in your approach to due diligence. The world is much smaller these days as organisations seek to expand across international borders. And the COVID-19 is teaching leaders invaluable lessons in business efficiencies and future strategy. This can lead to obvious challenges – both following the laws and regulations in various jurisdictions and overcoming language and cultural barriers. That is why it is important to have access to locally-based agents – including certified fraud examiners and similarly credentialed professionals – to help with your checks, whether investigating a potential third-party partner or an individual being considered for employment. Another advantage is to have a set, written policy and process for conducting background investigations that you can reference and rely upon when undertaking key business decisions. In this way, your organisation is less susceptible to someone convincing you to bypass proper due diligence simply because it might seem logistically difficult to conduct an overseas investigation.

MITIGATE EMPLOYEE RISK BEFORE & AFTER HIRE? LEARN MORE HERE

 

Q: Once the background investigation results are collated, what are the key points to analysing?

Anjum: If red flags are uncovered, the best way to further investigate is to understand discrepancies. For example, suppose you are conducting background screening on a potential employee, and something comes up in their criminal record, rather than eliminating them from consideration. In that case, you should ensure that there was no error in your background check, investigate the discrepancy, gather all relevant information, and ask the person to explain what you found and why they did not disclose it. They might have an explanation that affects your decision process. In other words, do not overlook potential talent. According to Nacro, more than 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record – that’s 1 in 3 men – however, just over half of these had been convicted on only one occasion, and 85% were convicted before they were 30 years old. Not all of those have a prison record, however. Most convictions are for motoring offences, such as speeding or unpaid tickets.

Q: What essential advice would you offer to companies on developing internal policies and processes to combat fraud? should intensive background investigations form part of their standard procedures?

Anjum: Intensive background investigations should be a part of an organisation’s standard procedures. It should be part of a greater risk management plan, be set forth as written policy that owners and directors approve, and be reviewed and understood by management and other relevant personnel. Engage risk management professionals when developing your policies and procedures. They can help tailor a plan based o your organisation. Key questions to address should include; who will implement the plan, how an investigation is conducted, who evaluates and reports the results, etc. Sometimes organisations put forth a thorough, excellent programme for background investigations and then, six months or a year later, nobody is following it. The key to success is following through with it and ensuring your entire organisation understands the process and why it is so important. The security of your company depends on effective risk management.

The security of your company depends on effective risk management

Background investigations are critical to any company’s success because working with qualified, honest and hard-working employees and other businesses is integral to thriving in the business community. What you don’t know can hurt you, and the simple act of one bad decision can result in an unprecedented loss for your company. 

From vendor and third-party screening to employment screening, CRI Group™ recommends background investigations as critical proactive measures to help keep your business safe. An effective background screening investigation will help screen for bad apples that can cause havoc down the road. Because we maintain a diverse talent base comprised of multilingual and multi-cultural professionals, CRI™ can traverse obstacles that often impede international background investigations. That’s why we are frequently contracted by our competitors to conduct background investigations in geographic regions not serviced or accessible by larger investigative firms. 

 

Meet our CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group™ (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading businesses organisations.  Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center-QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI Group safeguards businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI Group™ to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom  e: zanjum@crigroup.com | LinkedIn | Schedule a meeting | t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959

 

Seven Types of Business Risk You may Want to Address in Your Company

Running a business takes hard work and while success – customers, revenue and satisfaction – is the ultimate goal, all businesses come with risks which could stop you from achieving your goals. That’s why business risk management is key to building confidence in both your internal and external stakeholders – people want to be assured that each business decision is properly vetted before being made, that losses are minimised and successes maximised. A robust business risk management plan puts in place procedures that can help you identify, pre-empt, and avoid potential threats – or at the very least minimise their impact. Here are seven types of business risk you may want to address in your company.

1- Economic Risk

The economy is constantly changing as the markets fluctuate. It’s important to watch changes and trends to identify and plan for an economic downturn. Some positive changes are good for the economy, which lead to booming purchase environments, while negative events can reduce sales. To counteract economic risk, save as much money as possible to maintain a steady cash flow. Also, operate with a lean budget with low overhead through all economic cycles as part of your business plan.

2- Compliance Risk

Business owners face an abundance of laws and regulations to comply with. For example, recent data protection and payment processing compliance could impact how you handle certain aspects of your operation. Staying well versed in applicable laws from federal agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state and local agencies can help minimise compliance risks. If you rely on all your income from one or two clients, your financial risk could be significant if one or both no longer use your services. Start marketing your services to diversify your base so losing one won’t devastate your bottom line. Non-compliance may result in significant fines and penalties. Remain vigilant in tracking compliance by joining an industry organisation, regularly reviewing government agency information and seeking assistance from consultants specialising in compliance. For more on data compliance, read: “GDPR, Everything You Need to Know” and “GDPR: A 21st Century approach to Compliance.”

3- Security and Fraud Risk

As more customers use online and mobile channels to share personal data, there are also greater opportunities for hacking. News stories about data breaches, identity theft and payment fraud illustrate how this type of risk is growing for businesses. Not only does this risk impact trust and reputation, but a company is also financially liable for any data breaches or fraud. To achieve effective enterprise risk management, focus on security solutions, fraud detection tools and employee and customer education about how to detect any potential issues.

4- Financial Risk

This business risk may involve credit extended to customers or your company’s debt load. Interest rate fluctuations can also be a threat. Adjusting your business plan will help you avoid harming cash flow or creating an unexpected loss. Keep debt to a minimum and create a plan to start lowering that debt load as soon as possible. If you rely on all your income from one or two clients, your financial risk could be significant if one or both no longer use your services. Start marketing your services to diversify your base so losing one won’t devastate your bottom line.

5- Reputation Risk

There has always been the risk that an unhappy customer, product failure, negative press or lawsuit can adversely impact a company’s brand reputation. However, social media has amplified the speed and scope of reputation risk. One negative tweet or bad review can decrease your customer following and cause revenue to plummet. To prepare for this risk, leverage reputation management strategies to regularly monitor what others say about the company online and offline. Be ready to respond to those comments and help address any concerns immediately. Keep quality top of mind to avoid lawsuits and product failures that can damage your company’s reputation.

6- Operational Risk

This business risk can happen internally, externally or involve a combination of factors. Something could unexpectedly happen that causes you to lose business continuity. That unexpected event could be a natural disaster or fire that damages or destroys your physical business. Or, it might involve a server outage caused by technical problems, people, or a power cut. Many operational risks are also people-related. An employee might make mistakes that cost time and money. Learn more about the” Top Risk Management Concerns and The Need for Leadership During COVID-19.”

Whether a people or process failure, these operational risks can adversely impact your business in terms of money, time and reputation. Address these potential operational risks through training and a business continuity plan. Both tactics provide a way to think about what could go wrong and establish a backup system or proactive measures to ensure operations aren’t affected. Investigative operations (via commercial investigations) focus on the current status of your business – i.e. location of assets, financial information, identification of unmet needs of any market, gauge brand awareness and identity in the market, etc.) For example, more businesses are using cloud storage to protect company data and rely on remote team members to maintain operations. Automating more processes also helps to reduce people’s failures. Learn more about it HERE!

7- Competition (or Comfort) Risk

While a business may be aware that there is always some competition in their industry, it’s easy to miss out on what businesses offer that may appeal to your customers. In this case, the business risk involves a company leader becoming so comfortable with their success and the status quo that they don’t look for ways to pivot or make continual improvements. The increasing competition combined with an unwillingness to change may result in a loss of customers. Enterprise risk management means a company must continually reassess their performance, refine its strategy, and maintain strong, interactive relationships with its audience and customers. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye on the competition by regularly researching how they use online and social media channels.

Business Intelligence is most effective when it combines data derived from the market in which your business operates (external) with data from within, such as financial and operations data (internal). When combined, this data can provide a complete picture so that you can make any business decision, from operational to strategic, such as product positioning or pricing. Learn more about it HERE!

Accept, But Plan

Although you will never be able to eliminate business risk, proactively planning for it can help. Awareness is key in helping you save money and time while protecting the trust, reputation, and customer base you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Who is CRI Group™?

Based in London, CRI Group™ works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group™ also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications and is an HRO-certified provider and partner with Oracle.

FCRA: Risk Assessment and Financial Crime

A thorough understanding of its financial crime risks is key if a firm is to apply proportionate systems and controls. The following are self-assessment questions to help you implement an efficient risk assessment to mitigate the risk behind finance crime.

Self-assessment questions:

  • What are the main financial crime risks to the business?
  • How does your firm seek to understand the financial crime risks it faces?
  • When did the firm last update its risk assessment?
  • How do you identify new or emerging financial crime risks?
  • Is there evidence that risk is considered and recorded systematically, updated assessments, and appropriate sign-off?
  • Who challenges risk assessments and how? Is this process sufficiently rigorous and well-documented?
  • How do procedures on the ground adapt to emerging risks? (For example, how quickly are policy manuals updated and procedures amended?)

Examples of good practice:

  • A comprehensive risk assessment.
  • Risk assessment is a continuous process based on the best information available from internal and external sources.
  • The firm assesses where risks are greater and concentrates its resources accordingly.
  • The firm actively considers the impact of crime on customers.
  • The firm considers financial crime risk when designing new products and services.

Examples of poor practice:

  • Risk assessment is a one-off exercise.
  • Efforts to understand risk are piecemeal and lack coordination.
  • Risk assessments are incomplete.
  • The firm targets financial crimes that affect the bottom line (e.g. fraud against the firm) but neglects those where third parties suffer (e.g. fraud against customers)

Using An External Services Provider to Conduct Your Financial Crime Risk Assessment

Aside from it often being difficult to schedule time for this type of review or know where to start, there is considerable benefit in having an independent, objective review of the financial crime risks your business faces. Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI Group™) has a wealth of knowledge in Financial Crime and can help you identify risks and exposures that might otherwise be missed, thereby enabling appropriate procedures to be put in place.

To engage CRI Group™ to conduct your Financial Crime Risk Assessment, contact the CRI™ team. CRI™ has a dedicated team of experienced compliance consultants who can provide expert assurance and peace of mind. Get in touch to see how we can help your organisation.

About CRI Group™

CRI Group™ has protected businesses from fraudbribery and corruption since 1990. We are a leading Compliance and Risk Management company licensed and incorporated entity of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Qatar Financial Center (QFC). CRI™ protects businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business.

In 2016, the company launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC™) Center of Excellence. This independent certification body helps organisations mitigate internal and external risks by providing a complete suite of Anti-Bribery, Compliance and Risk Management programs.

Based in London, CRI Group™ works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. Our global team can support your organisation anywhere in the world. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group™ also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications and is an HRO-certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group™ launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC™) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC™ for more on ISO Certification and training.

 

Risk Management & What can Business Intelligence do?

Businesses must manage risks because they can frequently prevent or minimize the financial, political, social, and cultural ramifications associated with them. Risk management is an effective tool to tackle uncertainties in the probability of an event’s occurrence that challenges decision-making. Many factors associated with risk management, including business intelligence, have the potential to be used to reduce such uncertainties. Business Intelligence services supports organizations in the making more accurate estimates and predictions by analyzing historical and current data and mitigating internal and external risks.

What is Business Intelligence? How are Investigative operations are compared to Intelligence operations? Business Intelligence (BI) is a phrase coined for the analytical procedures an organization commences.

Business Intelligence is a successful method of conducting market research as it merges data derivative from the peripheral environment (i.e., market and industry) in which an organization operates with data from the core environment of the organization as fiscal and controls data. When combined, this data can deliver a complete image of any business decisions a firm can make as a means of benefit to themselves; this ranges from operational decisions such as product positioning to strategic decisions such as pricing.

What Are The Five Basic Tasks Of Business Intelligence?

  • Intelligence is used for business decisions….
  • Following are the five steps siness Intelligence:
  • The data is sourced from…
  • The results of the analysis are…
  • Being aware of your surroundings:…
  • The risk assessment is that…
  • Support in making decisions…

What is Counted as Business Intelligence Services?

Business Intelligence (BI) services can take on numerous forms and structures in today’s complex corporate environment. Business Intelligence services investigates everything from assets to the exterior disputes facing an organization. It can also appraise an organization’s employees to ensure that its integrity, reputation, and bottom-line profits are safeguarded from any malice and illicit activities.

CRI Group™ takes two approaches to business intelligence services:

  • Intelligence operations (via market research and analysis): we focus on researching your business’s future and potential growth – i.e. determine the commercial viability and potential for success in the market, analyze consumer behavior and business trends in that market, etc.
  • Investigative operations (via commercial investigations): we focus on the status of your business – i.e. location of assets, financial information, identification of unmet needs of any market, gauge brand awareness and identity in the market, etc.)

What are Intelligence Operations?

Investigation and Evaluation facilities are constructed to aid clients during the business intelligence procedure. Intelligence operations are highly acclaimed by organizations of all industries. The service aids the preliminary phases of detecting the necessary components for a suitable corporate policy to the closing execution phases. At CRI Group™, we know that data is your greatest advantage when performing enterprise on several degrees.

Our market research will collect the mandatory statistics to make significant corporate decisions; everything from registering into other markets or industries to associating or partnering with other organizations (i.e., Mergers and Acquisitions) is covered in our BI Solutions. CRI Group™ is proficient in understanding and transmitting this data to allow you to implement it into your corporate development; our experts are trained to the highest degree and understand how to get the proper data promptly.

CRI Group’s methodology is to assist the organization in tracing corporate movements and market changes which, in turn, will aid in steering them through the practice of successfully conveying their brand in the larger market to then be able to market their goods and services accordingly. With representatives in nations across the globe, CRI Group™ is distinctively situated to assist you in traversing cultural and regulatory environments to maximize your market potential in the regions you seek to trade.

Gaining insight into how your brand reputation affects potential buyers and understanding what motivates the market to purchase will enable you to establish effective marketing programs that impact your audiences and build brand loyalty among buyers. Why not check out our BI solutions brochure to learn more about our approach.

What are Investigative Operations?

It is no secret that every industry has its issues. However, some matters, such as Employee Theft, Company Fraud, rivalry, continuous malingering, or Industrial Espionage, can start on a moderately trivial scale. Still, as time advances, the culprit becomes brasher in their endeavors (typically due to an absence of discovery) instigating the situation to develop out of control and become detrimental to your commerce.

As an organization, you have every right to be involved with the internal activities of your firm; hence, carrying out commercial investigations on your employees as a means of curtailing threats is not out of the question. Our team of experts can support you to do this in a manner equally as ethical as it is providing as it delivers you the data you so greatly pursue.

Commercial investigations can be achieved for any form of an enterprise, including commercial, industrial, legal, and public sector corporations. Our team hails from diverse backgrounds, including military and fraud investigators, which is why CRI Group™ is so adaptable in its approach to help you with intelligence and investigative operations. Why not check out our BI solutions brochure to learn more about our approach.

A little bit overwhelmed and wanting to learn more? Get in touch and let us know how we can help!

GET IN TOUCH

How to Protect Your IP with Brand Protection Investigations?

Intellectual Property (IP) is an exclusive right of the brand owner. This property includes intangible creations of the brand owners’ human intellect; therefore, the brand owners are lawful copyright or trademark owners. However, when unscrupulous individuals indulge in manufacturing and distributing counterfeit products of well-known brands, the result is the loss of sales, a tarnished brand image and erosion of brand loyalty, not to mention the ill effects of consumption by the consumer and the loss of revenue to the government. This is when Brand protection services are crucial to business integrity.

Counterfeiting threatens the fabric of national economies, endangers safety and frequently kills. It devalues corporate reputations, hinders investment, funds terrorism, and costs hundreds of thousands of people their livelihood annually. Companies and organizations face IP-related risks from a multitude of sources, namely:

  • From within the organization itself;
  • From entities in the ecosystem of the organization;
  • From competitors;
  • From independent 3rd parties; and/or
  • From illegal entities.

It is important to consider the risks to your intellectual property and take the steps necessary to protect your brand. Because of the potential complexity of IP investigations you should consider consulting experts. Investigators who are specially trained to protect the brand equity and customer loyalty you’ve built by providing professional assistance in the areas of:

  • Trade Secret Breaches
  • Data Breaches & IP Leaks
  • Theft of Proprietary Customer Data
  • Copyright Abuse
  • Unauthorized Use of Trademarks
  • Counterfeit & Pirated Products
  • Threats to Brand Integrity & Reputation
  • Brand Imitation & Product Copying
  • Global Counterfeiting Investigations

Getting help

Brand protection services can:

  • Research and investigate the legal aspects of copyright, trademark and patent claims
  • Identify the company and/or individuals that have breached your IP rights
  • Perform background and financial investigations on subjects involved in IP infringement
  • Pinpoint the source and location of the manufacturer in counterfeit product claims
  • Establish new delivery channels for the trade of your products

As an integral member of the ICC Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau, CRI Group is certified to advise and assist organizations with intellectual property investigations involving grey market and product counterfeiting crimes.

CRI Group utilizes various techniques, analytics, and global technology to investigate intellectual property infringements, including the use of international Counterfeiting Seizure Maps and International Anti-Counterfeiting Directories. Our strategic partnerships with IP firms worldwide ensure that leads are identified and investigated and claims are settled expeditiously.

VIEW OUR BROCHURE

CRI Group Intellectual Property (IP) Investigations:

  • Trademark Investigations
  • Intellectual Property Acquisition Services
  • Patent Investigations
  • Brand, Media and Internet Monitoring Services
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Programs
  • Brand Integrity Programs
  • Copyright Abuse Investigations
  • Cyber Surveillance
  • Litigation Support

 CRI is an ideal partner to be the eyes and ears of brands across markets, offline and online. Our multidisciplinary experts regularly review and scan the online marketplaces to keep a close eye on fake products. From online surveillance to supply chain audits and real-time market surveys, brands will find CRI the ideal long-term partner to keep a close eye on all markets. You, meanwhile, can focus on running the business and building your brand.

CRI Group invites you to schedule a quick appointment with us to discuss in more detail how our Brand Protection Solutions can help you and your organization. 

BOOK A MEETING NOW!

About CRI Group

For short, Corporate Research and Investigations Limited, or CRI Group, has protected businesses from fraud, bribery, and corruption since 1990. Globally, we are a leading Compliance and Risk Management company licensed and incorporated entity of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Qatar Financial Center (QFC). CRI protects businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. Based in London, United Kingdom, CRI is a global company with experts and resources in key regional marketplaces across the Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Our global team can support your organization anywhere in the world.