GLOBAL - The International Corporate Governance Network has called on companies to ensure they demonstrate that they have appropriate systems in place to detect bribery and corruption.
It also calls on investors to ensure they have the processes in place within their own organisations, which they urge on others.
F&C head of governance and sustainable investment and ICGN working group co-convener Karina Litvack said: "Corrupt practices take an enormous financial toll on our global economy, and drive down shareholder returns by misdirecting capital to inefficient uses.
"Companies often argue that corrupt payments are a necessary and inevitable part of doing business in certain parts of the world - but this is both mistaken and unacceptable. Besides constraining growth, corruption has a deeply corrosive effect on management culture, and undermines its overall effectiveness in delivering value."
The ICGN said it recognised investors had an important role to play in confronting bribery and corruption through open and constructive engagement with companies.
In the past, corporate governance codes have tended to focus on the structure of boards and their relations with shareholders. However, the ICGN argued any well controlled organisation should know how its money is being used.
The statement includes initial guidance for investors in the form of questions to ask company representatives around anti-corruption policies and procedures, enforcement, transparency and voluntary initiatives.
A number of pension schemes have been prompted to lock in gains with a move into bonds after the estimated deficit across FTSE 100 DB pension schemes improved by £36bn, over the 12 months ending 30 June last year, JLT Employment Benefits found.
HM Treasury has agreed in principle to give NEST a £329m contingent liability guarantee in the event of the master trust's wind up or closure.
AMP Capital has set up a dedicated team to help institutional investors, including pension funds, invest in infrastructure through direct equity allocations.