Survey: Half of firms suffer serious fraud

Half of businesses in Ireland suffered serious fraud in the last two years, a global survey found.

This compares with 16% of companies globally and 21% in western Europe.

The vast bulk of bosses, 85%, feel their board members are concerned that they may find themselves liable for acts of fraud and corruption.

Some 70% of companies were asked to provide details of any internal investigations into fraud, bribery or corrupt practices in the last 12 months, according to the Ernst & Young study.

Julie Fenton, Ernst & Young’s fraud investigations partner, said the figures are unsurprising given the credit crunch and recession.

“There has been increased pressure on businesses and board members to maintain financial results in difficult conditions which has encouraged new frauds, whilst companies have been forced to take a closer inspection of costs, leading to the uncovering of pre-existing fraud schemes,” Ms Fenton said.

But the survey found that as a result of Irish board members being more risk-averse, businesses appear better prepared to manage fraud in key areas.

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