The new Bribe Payers Index (BPI) ranks 28 leading international and regional exporting countries by the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad.  Perhaps unsurprisingly companies from Russia and China are seen as most likely to pay bribes abroad and companies from the Netherlands and Switzerland are seen as least likely to bribe.  The United Kingdom itself is ranked eighth in the index. 

The Executive Director of Transparency International UK, Chandrashekhar Krishnan said:

“With the entry into force of the Bribery Act we would have expected to see the UK higher up in the rankings.  UK companies need to make sure they have a rigorous zero tolerance approach towards bribery.  At the same time the UK government needs to level the playing field for honest UK businesses by working actively through the G20”.

 The Transparency International Press Release continues:

A year ago the group of 20 leading economies (G20) committed to tackling foreign bribery by launching an anti corruption action plan.  The progress report of the Working Group monitoring the action plan, which G20 leaders are expected to approve at the summit on [3rd November], will recognise steps taken by G20 countries China, Russia, Indonesia and India in criminalising foreign bribery.

In the survey, international business leaders reported the widespread practice of companies paying bribes to public officials in order to win public tenders, avoid regulation, speed up government processes or, influence policy.  However, Transparency International reports that companies are almost as likely to pay bribes through other businesses, according to this new report, which looks at business to business bribery for the first time.  The 2011 Bribe Payers Index also looks at the likelihood of firms in 19 specific sectors to engage in bribery and exert undue influence on governments.

A copy of the 2011 Bribe Payers Index and report can be found here