MAGDA WIERZYCKA: Global giants quick to adapt ethics in emerging markets
‘International banks were more than willing to turn a blind eye to obvious money laundering by the Guptas as SA is considered too insignificant for Financial Intelligence Centre controls’
By this stage no one needs me to join the dots for them regarding Bell Pottinger, McKinsey, KPMG, SAP, the Bank of Baroda and the latest skeletons to tumble out of the Gupta cupboard, HSBC and Standard Chartered banks. As we all now know, their business practices in SA have fallen short of the "high standards they set for themselves", to quote one executive. But have they? The main similarity between all these companies is that they are all global giants with operational footprints in various countries including most developed markets. And yet it is in emerging markets that standards seem to slip, not once or twice but over and over again. One can only assume that, at their core, international companies believe different standards of ethics should apply when they do business in emerging markets. After all, people in emerging markets have very little. It is an easy assumption to make that a sprinkling of cash will open many doors.As much as we should be outraged about how easy it has...