Britain Is World Leader in Thieving and Fraud

By Withers, Malcolm | The Evening Standard (London, England), July 8, 2003 | Go to article overview

Britain Is World Leader in Thieving and Fraud


Withers, Malcolm, The Evening Standard (London, England)


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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