British businesses are being warned to protect against dishonest employees, with incidents of corporate fraud on the rise.
Fraud levels have escalated by 74% compared to last year, according to research from business advisers BDO Stoy Hayward.
Reported fraud has cost UK business more than £700 million in the past six months. The number of staff out to defraud bosses is also on the up, with employee fraud increasing to 11% of all fraud, compared to 2.5% in 2007.
Simon P Bevan, head of BDO Stoy Hayward’s fraud services team, issued a stark warning to British businesses.
“What we are essentially saying is that management are robbing you blind, suppliers are ripping you off left, right and centre and regulators are breathing down your neck,” Mr Bevan said.
“As the recession deepens, regulatory pressures will increase and regulators will become more intrusive, so be prepared.
“The combination of spiralling personal debt and desperate employees spells real danger for businesses.
“Our figures provide clear evidence that commercial organisations of all types and size throughout the UK are currently failing, in some cases quite spectacularly, to get to grips with the fraudulent activity of their staff.”
Mr Bevan warned that the problem of business fraud was certain to grow.