The newly released
Global Economic Crime Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows UK businesses
have failed to learn anything over the past two years since a damning
report exposed a raft of potential loopholes for bribery and corruption in the
The PwC report found corruption and bribery was the fastest-growing form of
UK fraud over the past two years, doubling the average cost to UK businesses
affected by fraud from £0.8m in 2005, to £1.75m in 2007. Not only was fraud more
costly, but the UK has some of the highest incident rates in the world. UK
businesses, suffering fraud were typically affected 15 times in the 24-month
period – twice the global average and three times more than the average in
Despite this, UK plc appears to be in denial about the scale of the economic
crime – only 17% of companies surveyed believed they would become a victim, when
half, at 48%, had been affected. This denial is partly the reason why few fraud
cases end up in court and on public record.
The trend towards a more globalised market is a factor in the increased
threat of fraud. Almost half, at 49%, of UK fraud cases involved an overseas
party. The possible impact of economic crime is considered a significant factor
in about half of investment decisions and 90% of UK respondents cited corruption
as their major concern when doing business with E7 countries.
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