Money laundering is more prevalent in Hong Kong and Macau than in most parts of the world, with rates far above the global average, according to an economic crime survey by PwC quoted by the South China Morning Post.
A poll by the accounting firm found 37 per cent of companies in Hong Kong and Macau, mainly banks and casinos, had experienced money laundering in the past two years.
That compared with a global average of 11 per cent, the Asia-Pacific average of 11 per cent, Singapore’s 5 per cent and mainland China’s 4 per cent.
Hong Kong had the highest reported rate of money laundering in Asia and the ninth highest globally, behind Britain, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Russia, Zambia, Australia, Kenya and Ukraine.
PwC polled 5,128 company executives from 95 countries and territories, including 116 respondents in Hong Kong and Macau, of whom 49 per cent worked for listed companies.
It was the first time the survey, which began in 2001, took a substantive look at money laundering in Hong Kong and Macau.
“The concentration of financial services in Hong Kong and gaming in Macau drives the significance of money laundering in the local marketplace,” said John Donker, the lead PwC partner in forensic services for China and Hong Kong.
“The No1 concern found among financial services companies globally is money laundering. In Hong Kong, it is one of the top concerns.”(macaunews)