New Delhi: India Inc seems to be more tolerant to economic crimes such as bribery and corruption than its global peers, as companies felt these were necessary for survival, global consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has said.

The number of companies reporting economic crimes in India in the last 12 months stood at only 24 percent, as compared to 34 percent globally, according to PwC's 'Global Economic Crime Survey 2011'.

"This shows that Indian companies seem to have a higher tolerance for economic crime such as bribery and corruption, with the general perception of these being necessary for survival," PwC said.

However, it added, though the direct cost of economic crime to an organisation can be difficult to gauge, nearly 32 percent of the respondents reported losses exceeding Rs 50 lakh.

"Identifying and responding to incidents of fraud continues to be a challenge for even the most sophisticated organisations. Economic crime remains intractable because of the very nature of fraud, the many kinds of fraud including some 'new age' frauds and the correspondingly broad range of fraudsters who commit them," said PwC India Leader – Forensic Services Vidya Rajarao.

The PwC report further said cyber crime ranks as one of the top four types of economic crime perpetrated largely by insiders in Indian organisations.

It added that about 58 percent of the respondents to the survey perceived information technology departments as higher risk with respect to committing cyber crime, followed by marketing and sales (50 percent) and operations (44 percent).

However, despite awareness about the risks and an increase in media coverage of cyber crime, 34 percent of the respondents do not the review risks at all or are not aware of the risks posed by cybercrime to the organisation.

Furthermore, the report said asset misappropriation was not only the most common type of economic crime, but has shown a steady increase from 20 percent in 2007 to 68 percent in 2011.

The online survey was answered by 106 professionals from different industries in India.

(Agencies)