New research has jointly ranked Somalia and North Korea as the most corrupt regimes in the world.
The study, by Transparency international, found that the two countries have retained the same spots they held last year, each earning a score of just 8 out of 100 – with 1 being the worst corruption imaginable.
Other notable entries included the US, rising one place to 16, with a score of 76, China, gaining 17 places to 83rd with a score of 36.
France gained three places to 23rd, Spain moved one spot up the ranking to 36th and Italy gained eight places to 61st.
This includes Brazil, which scored just 38 after a scandal over allegations directors at giant oil company Petrobras took bribes from construction groups to award contracts and funds were also funnelled to government officials.
Britain’s higher ranking was attributed by the watchdog’s director Robert Barrington to “good rhetoric” from the government on fighting corruption, though he added that stopping the UK from being used to launder money, cleaning up politics and improving government openness were all areas which needed work.
Mr Barrington said: “Britain has a Prime Minster who is talking a good game on anti-corruption with plans for a global summit on it in May. Whether he delivers on that remains to be seen.”
He added there had been few major corruption scandals in the UK in 2015 with the exception of in banking, “though the public seem to have become used to these as they have become so frequent”.
The UK cleaning up its act earned a score of 81 out of a 100, putting it in joint 10th place with Luxembourg – a nation until recently famed for its banking secrecy laws – and Germany, where the VW scandal rocked the automotive sector and regulators watching over it.
Mr Barrington said the scandal over emissions from the VW’s diesel cars seemed not have harmed perception around corruption in the country, possibly because it was seen as straightforward fraud rather than corruption.