Risk Conference 2019
The Dark Side of the Financial World
The reputation of the financial sector had a rough going the past decade. There are multiple examples that can explain why operating in the shadow, especially in the financial world, seems to be a recurring phenomenon. No matter how strict rules and regulations are, the tremendous sums of money present in the financial sector have always attracted fraudsters. Scandals and tax avoidance seem to be a frequent returning matter in the financial world. Moreover, issues such as incomplete or false Corporate Sustainability Reporting and complications of AI are arising problems in the modern era.
The Subtheme's of the Conference
Tax: An Ethical DiscussionIf you open the newspapers and follow social media, “tax avoidance” and “tax evasion” seem to have become buzzwords. In 2016, 11.5 million files, called the Panama Papers, were leaked. These documents revealed that offshore entities and shell companies are used by world leaders, business people and politicians in over 200 countries. Also multinational companies and investment funds make use of offshore entities. The OECD started an ambitious programme already in 2012 to curbe aggressive tax planning. Do these offshore entities and structures all relate to tax avoidance or tax evasion or are they also used for other reasons? Or primarily as part of clever tax planning schemes within the borders of the law? How can you define the line between these phenomena? And how does business ethics play a role for the people and companies involved and for their advisors? Our speaker will try to stimulate a discussion about these important questions based on some interesting examples.
Corporate Sustainability Reporting: Fraud Between the LinesCurrently, the term Corporate Social Responsibility is having a strong hold on organisations and consumers. The concept expanded from its focus on only a few stakeholders to be more far reaching, essentially having a global scope. Most early producers of the related corporate sustainability reports published them in an effort to improve their reputation, often in the wake of public controversies. However, in recent years, Corporate Sustainability Reporting (CSR) has become more common. Unfortunately, not all firms deliver reliable sustainability reports. Instead they leave out crucial information and make false claims. Yet, what or who can be the cause of this lack of completeness and credibility in sustainability reports? Besides, who should be held responsible for the correctness of these reports?
How To Survive a Scandal? In a World Where Image MattersDespite the importance of trustworthiness, the financial world has always been known for its scandals. Recent scandals such as the Steinhoff scandal and Dieselgate only increased the prejudices about the financial world. The Enron scandal even had the Big Five shrunk to the Big Four. There are many questions that arise towards this subject. How does a scandal occur? Why do companies participate in scandalous behavior and how can they regain trust from investors and other stakeholders? Even more important, how can scandals of this size be avoided in the future?
Artificial Intelligence: What are the Complications?Artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving rapidly during the current fourth industrial revolution and society recognizes the many advantages it brings. For example, AI enhances efficiency by automating time-consuming and tedious jobs which paves the way for more interpersonal and creative aspects of work. However, in the real world, reaping the benefits from intelligent algorithms turns out to be very demanding. For instance, one of the challenges that arises is accountability: who is responsible in case something goes wrong? Nowadays, the developments of AI are running quickly; does this mean solutions to these challenges are on their way?