Half of UK organisations surveyed in PwC’s latest Global Economic Crime & Fraud Survey were victims of fraud and/or economic crime in the last two years, with a quarter (24%) having lost more than USD $1 million (£720,000). PwC also found that the UK was more vulnerable to high-value attacks than the rest of the world; over half (51%) of the UK’s crimes resulted in losses of more than $100,000 (£72,000), compared to 37% globally.
Despite this, PwC says UK organisations are not doing enough to actively prevent fraud with only half of respondents admitting to carrying out a fraud risk assessment in the last two years – a vital first step in putting appropriate prevention measures in place. PwC’s ninth biennial Global Economic Crime & Fraud Survey, surveyed more than 7,000 decision-makers across 123 countries, with 146 surveyed in the UK, including in Northern Ireland.
Fran Marwood, forensics partner at PwC, said that, while the direct cost of fraud to UK business continues to rise, the wider, indirect effects can be far more damaging and costly:
This year’s study shows a shift towards technology-enabled crime like bribery and corruption, and procurement fraud (see Figure 1). Cybercrime is now the most prevalent, overtaking asset theft for the first time since the survey began in 2002.
Nearly half (49%) of UK undertakings admitting to being cybercrime victims, with 42% of respondents expecting that cybercrime will continue to have the greatest business impact, over the next two years.
Fran Marwood warned that much of the cybercrime in the UK comes from external overseas threats:
Figure 1: Most commonly reported types of economic crime / fraud in the UK
Some general findings included:
Despite a relentless flow of attempted economic fraud, the PwC research suggests that UK organisations are relying heavily on people with the skills to detect it, rather than employing more advanced technologies. Manual anti-fraud controls were reported to be the most successful, uncovering 19% of frauds, followed by tip-offs / whistleblowing (16%), and internal audit (15%).
Fran Marwood concluded:
Notes for editors