Please respond to class mate post: A.
Switzerland scored an 84/100 on the corruption perception index in 2021 and an 85/100 in 2020. The 2021 score ranks Switzerland as 7th out of 180 countries (Transparency International, 2022). In 2020, it was in a 4-way tie for 3rd out of 180 countries as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. In comparison, the United States scored 67/100 in both 2021 and 2020, ranking 27th and 25th respectively (Transparency International, 2022). Switzerland has ranked near the top of the least corrupt countries in the world for many years now. Although the United States is better than most countries, it has not come close to Switzerland’s perception index.
However, Switzerland is also known as having secretive banking practices with a large offshore banking industry. A few years ago, the Tax Justice Network rated the Swiss banking network as the most corrupt in the world (Expatica, 2022). Additionally, as noted in this week’s discussion post, Swiss based Novartis faced $729 million in fines for a bribery case the US prosecuted. So, with this in mind, Switzerland overall is not corrupt, but their banking practices are questionable and they have had recent issues with Novartis.
In general Switzerland is known to be one of the least corrupt countries in the world. Switzerland has the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) which has enacted several policies to combat corruption. The SDC has enacted a policy of zero tolerance. If corruption is suspected, all payments to and from a company are suspended pending a legal investigation (eda.admin.ch., 2022). The SDC also commits to recovering misappropriated funds when discovered (eda.admin.ch., 2022). The Swiss government has also enacted several laws to combat corruption. Any individual who is convicted of accepting a bribe can face up to 5 years in jail including fines (Berni and Monnier, 2017). For companies accused of accepting bribes, they may face forfeiture of assets as well as a criminal fine of up to 5 million Swiss Francs (Berni and Monnier, 2017). Denmark is listed as the world’s least corrupt nation by the corruption perception index. They have enacted a similar criminal penalty for bribery of up to 6 years in prison (Nielsen and Klöcker, 2022). Given that Switzerland and Denmark are close in rankings, it makes sense that they would have a similar legal system around corruption.
I was unaware of Transparency International and the corruption index. I was surprised and not surprised by my findings on Switzerland. I was not surprised to learn that Switzerland is considered an uncorrupt country. However, I am surprised that it is labeled so high given the Tax Justic Network stating the Swiss banking is the most corrupt in the world. I had always heard that Switzerland was known for their private banking practices but was not completely aware that this may also lead to some corruption. Additionally, I had not heard of Novartis bribery issue until the first discussion post this week.
Berni, M., & Monnier, P. (2017, June 7). Anti-corruption in Switzerland. Global Compliance News. Retrieved April 29, 2022, from https://www.globalcompliancenews.com/anti-corruption/handbook/anti-corruption-in-switzerland/
eda.admin.ch. (2022, April 29). Fighting corruption – A major barrier to development. Eidgenössisches Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten EDA. Retrieved April 29, 2022, from https://www.eda.admin.ch/deza/en/home/themes-sdc/state-economic-reforms/corruption.html#
Expatica. (2022, February 22). Business culture in Switzerland. Expatica. Retrieved April 29, 2022, from https://www.expatica.com/ch/working/employment-basics/switzerland-business-culture-102447/
Nielsen, M., & Klöcker, M. (2022, January 11). Denmark – Global Bribery Offenses Guide: | insights: DLA piper global law firm. DLA Piper. Retrieved April 29, 2022, from https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2019/09/bribery-offenses-guide/denmark/
Transparency International. (2022, April 29). 2021 corruption perceptions index – explore the results. Transparency.org. Retrieved April 29, 2022, from https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2021