Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Britain Is World Leader in Thieving and Fraud

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Britain Is World Leader in Thieving and Fraud

Article excerpt

Byline: MALCOLM WITHERS

THE British are a nation of thieves, taking goods from shops, offices and factories at a greater rate than in any other country.

British companies also suffer some of the highest levels of fraud in the world, says accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers, which found 51% of British companies were victims of economic crimes during the past two years compared with 37% of businesses worldwide.

Some 82% of the businesses that fell victim to economic crimes reported that they had suffered from "asset misappropriation" - the accountants' word for thieving - making British companies the world's most theft-plagued.

PWC's annual Economic Crime Survey is based on 3200 interviews in 50 countries with leading chief executives and financial directors.

The newer fraud of cybercrime affected only 19% of UK companies and 11% reported fraudulent attempts to extract cash from them. However, 48% of firms expect cybercrime to increase in the next five years.

Some 60% of British businesses which suffered economic crime said that it had hit staff morale and 31% were worried about a tarnished corporate image.

About 29% of British firms said business relationships had been damaged.

The accountants say economic crime continued to be a material threat to the wellbeing of UK Plc. …

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