Ethics risk hits profit levels and client loyalty.

Amnesty International this week warned accountants and professional advisers that they will lose business unless ethical and human issues take centre stage in corporate decisions.

Profit levels and client loyalty are at risk if business services are seen to be associated with unethical activity, the human rights group claimed.

Accountancy Age last week revealed that Grant Thornton is acting as adviser to controversial diamond mining company Oryx in its bid for a listing on the London stock exchange.

‘Companies are increasingly targeted by public opinion if their business is seen to be out of step with public morality’, an Amnesty spokesman said. ‘It’s very clear that the public take as much note about who you work with as what you do.’

He said investment firms have already felt the brunt of being associated with businesses linked to violations, and it would not be long before the public started to look at the association of other sectors.

‘You no longer have to be directly involved with violations to become a target of public opinion’, he added.

Amnesty’s Human Rights – is it any of your business? report urges company wide strategies.

It highlights a reputation assurance package drawn up by PricewaterhouseCoopers to help multinationals construct ethical policies.

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