Impact of COVID-19 on financial institutions: navigating the global emerging patterns of financial crime

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/JFC-03-2021-0073
Published date04 August 2021
Date04 August 2021
Pages476-490
Subject MatterAccounting & finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial crime
AuthorChristoph Wronka
Impact of COVID-19 on f‌inancial
institutions: navigating the
global emerging patterns of
f‌inancial crime
Christoph Wronka
Deloitte GmbH Wirtschaftsprufungsgesellschaft, Hamburg, Germany
Abstract
Purpose The current COVID-19 pandemichas already proven to be one of the worlds deadliest crises in
modern history with far-reaching impactson different sectors of the global economy. The f‌inancialsector is
among the most widely affected by the economic crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the
most notable effects is related to f‌inancialcrime. It is against this backdrop that the present study aimed to
examine the impactof COVID-19 on f‌inancial institutions with the main focus being on f‌inancialcrime
Design/methodology/approach Its twofold objectiveswere to critically examine the global emerging
patterns of f‌inancial crime and their association with the COVID-19 pandemic; and to investigate how
f‌inancial institutions across the world have been responding to, managing, and dealing with the emerging
patternsof f‌inancial crime brought about by (or linked to)the COVID-19 pandemic.
Findings It was found out that as thepandemic ravages the world and pushes people and businessesto
the very limitsof theirendurance, many f‌inancial sector stakeholdersand players are responding in ways that
put the entire f‌inancialsector and all its stakeholders at great risk. Specif‌ically,COVID-19 pandemic has led to
the emergence of new patterns of f‌inancial crimethat were either unheard of or were not as rampant in the
past.
Originality/value Both the descriptive and correlation analyses produced by this study provide new
insightsinto the impact of COVID-19 on f‌inancial institutions with a mainfocus on f‌inancial crime.
Keywords Financial institutions, COVID-19, Financial crime prevention,
Global emerging patterns of f‌inancial crime
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
1.1 Background
When the COVID-19 pandemic was f‌irst reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2020, the
rest of the world including most other parts of China went about itsusual businesses as
though nothing signif‌icant was happening (Chamola et al., 2020). Indeed, no one had any
reason to even think that this latest strainof coronavirus would pose any major threat to the
rest of the world (at least not the Western world, which appeared to be so far removed from
the epicentre of the epidemic) (Beaunoyer etal., 2020). After all, there had been several other
outbreaks of coronaviruses in Asia which had not progressed into a major and disruptive
pandemic with far-reaching consequences. These past experiences mayhave contributed to
the rather lacklustre approach and subsequent response to COVID-19 even when it was
declared a pandemicby the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Over a year and three months later, the COVID-19 pandemicis already proving to be one
of the worlds deadliest crises in modern history. With over half a million deaths reported
across the world and millions of people infected,the pandemic threatens to plunge the world
JFC
29,2
476
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.29 No. 2, 2022
pp. 476-490
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-03-2021-0073
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
https://www.emerald.com/insight/1359-0790.htm

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