Canada leads World Bank corruption list

More corrupt isn’t the kind of reputation Canada is looking for on the global stage.

Unfortunately, Canada leads on the World Bank's running list of people and companies barred from receiving financing under its fraud and corruption policy.

As it stands today, Canada has the most new entries on the list, with the addition of 119 people and companies. All but two of those total entries are from SNC-Lavalin and affiliated companies, a World Bank spokesman said Wednesday.

That compares to 2012, when no Canadian companies were added to the list

SNC-Lavalin and related companies and individuals are banned from receiving World Bank-financed contracts for 10 years.

The United States ranked second on the list by number of people and firms, also with some SNC-Lavalin related companies, followed by Indonesia and Britain, the World Bank said.

James David Fielder, the World Bank’s manager of investigations, told the Financial Post that SNC-Lavalin’s ranking is the result of an investigation it conducted with the RCMP relating to the Padma Bridge Project in Bangladesh.

The World Bank pulled its $1.2-billion (U.S.) loan for the project amid corruption allegations.

On Wednesday, the Globe and Mail reported a former SNC Lavalin executive who oversaw construction of the bridge has been charged under Canada’s foreign bribery law. The RCMP charged two other SNC officials last year.

The World Bank has been cracking down on fraud and corruption related to its aid program.

The number of firms and individuals banned this year is four times the number for all of 2012.

It expects sanctions to increase as it continues to fight against the misappropriation of its resources.

"The World Bank means business. It's ramping up in 2013 is a clear signal that it will not tolerate corruption or fraud," Tim Coleman, a World Bank global investigations partner, told the South China Morning Post this week.

The international bank estimates about US$20 billion to $40 billion is stolen from developing countries each year, which it argues undermines economic growth.

It set up the Financial Market Integrity unit in 2001 to go after so-called “dirty money” and make the financial system more transparent.

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