Combatting financial crime concerns us all

The risk of falling victim to financial crime increases with a company's size and the rising complexity of its structures and workflow. The financial loss and consequences can be devastating for the company's reputation. Munich Re is resolutely countering this risk with an effective system for combatting fraudulent activities.

Financial crime may take on many different guises, ranging from direct asset losses and corruption to manipulation of accounts. Although there is no such thing as complete protection, much can be done to reduce the risks.

A holistic approach in combatting fraudulent activities and comprehensive prevention is of central importance. It is for this reason that Munich Re has assigned these Group-level functions to a separate Group Compliance and Legal Department, which underlines the importance of the matter and creates the basis for a stringent procedure across the Group. Our "Policy on Combatting of Financial Crime" contains minimum requirements to be observed by all Group companies. A process of coordination with Group Compliance and Legal guarantees adherence to the minimum requirements, but allows some leeway in defining measures, depending on the risk situation and observance of local regulations.

Explicit specifications for the behaviour of employees in handling transactions are included in the measures. Clearly defined processes and responsibilities, effective checks which also monitor the example set by management, in addition to training, heighten employees' awareness of the fact that every single individual can make a contribution to combatting fraudulent activities. If employees notice that something is amiss or their suspicion is aroused, they have the option of contacting the respective persons in Group Compliance and Legal, or their line managers.

Electronic Whistleblowing Portal

Employees can also turn to our external ombudsman or use the electronic Whistleblowing Portal. Our clients, contractual partners and other third parties can also contact the ombudsman or place a message on the Whistleblowing Portal. Anonymous messages can also be submitted. The system lets the user create a sort of mailbox to allow communication while preserving anonymity. The messages on the Whistleblowing Portal are actioned by the specially trained workers in Group Compliance and Legal.

Munich Re also provides training to heighten employee awareness of the subject and the risks, and provide information on hazard characteristics.

Measures to uncover suspicious circumstances

Specially trained staff members in Group Compliance and Legal conduct appropriate investigations in the event of concrete suspicion of fraudulent activity. A confirmed suspicion always entails consequences. Munich Re tolerates no fraudulent activity, and takes action based on industrial, criminal and/or civil law, depending on the individual case.

The combatting of fraudulent activities and the enhancement of an effective system have uppermost priority at Munich Re. Our system is thus subjected to continual monitoring, and to ongoing development on the basis of the latest findings and trends.