White collar fraud

Two article emerged over the past few days that look at "white collar fraud" and "corporate fraud". Most of it represents a welcome change from reports that suggest low-level workers are stealing costs employers £15bn per year, absenteeism costs employer £12bn per year, non-work blogs cost the USA economy 2.3m jobs, etc.

The first article - White collar fraud costs firms billions (Guy Robarts, BBC News: Business) suggests the total cost of employee fraud to UK listed companies alone amounted to about £2bn. However, if we are to believe an article from Sunday's Observer - Corporate fraud loses UK business £72bn each year (Richard Wachman) - UK companies are estimated to be losing 6 per cent of their annual revenue to fraud and corruption. And even then, it is believed that "much fraud remains undetected."

I'm not claiming that two wrongs make a right, but studies, for example, that reveal the so-called costs of low level employees taking time off, for most part, for genuine illness, we get headline news, national radio and television debates, and questions asked in parliament. However, acts that are not ambiguous in their nature, are far more serious than a few days off sick when most people work overtime for free anyway, are committed by very few people in relation to the working population, cost businesses far more than any other kind of crime or misdemeanour, yet get little intense media attention. A sense of injustice is an understatement.

2 comments:

Ed Dickson said...

James,

Very informative blog and from personal experience, extremely accurate.

Regards,

Ted

World Weary Detective said...

Fraud has never been a priority for the police. It is fairly well hidden and has little direct impact on the day-to-day lives of the public. Companies loath reporting fraud due to bad publicity. They cover their losses by passing on costs to their customers.