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Case Studies

Mandatory reporting of fraud

There’s a clear, keen appetite for the mandatory reporting of fraud in England and Wales according to a survey for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) UK Chapter with the Fraud Advisory Panel, as carried out by the UK consultancy Perpetuity Research.

That was the summing up in an online launch of the study this morning by Dr Janice Goldstraw-White; she and Prof Martin Gill of Perpetuity were the authors of the report.

As background, while corporate fraud (especially by employees) is significantly underreported to the police for a variety of reasons, fraud is also the the most common crime. Against money laundering, those operating in regulated sectors such as finance have a duty to prepare a suspicious activity report (SAR) should an offence be suspected. This brings advantages (better intelligence about the crime for the authorities) and disadvantages (the SARs regime has been criticised for producing more data than the police can handle).

Likewise, the report set out pros and cons for mandatory reporting. For: mandatory reporting would show the damaging nature of fraud; and we would gain a better overall understanding of fraud; there’s a need to escalate tackling fraud as an item on the UK Government’s agenda; the authorities would get more and better intelligence for policing; and organisations would be encouraged to take more responsibility.

Against: survey respondents argued that any mandatory reporting would have to be simple and easy else it would be an administrative burden on organisations; police are already overwhelmed and most policing agencies are not coping well with the reported fraud, let alone more; already a lot of fraud is required to be reported; and data already reported to official agencies is not being used to best effect.

Perpetuity also studied Scotland, South Africa and Ireland where the reporting of fraud has been made mandatory through law; although it’s been little publicised and acted on.

For the freely downloadable 60-page report, visit the Fraud Advisory Panel website. Or the Perpetuity website: www.perpetuityresearch.com.

Prof Martin Gill is chairing one of his weekly OSPAs thought leadership webinars on this topic, titled ‘Why are financial crimes such a low priority and what should we do?’ on October 21. It’s free to sign up to at https://theospas.com/thought-leadership-webinars/.

More in the November print edition of Professional Security magazine.


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