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UK is failing to combat business fraud

Fraud experts from the police, financial services, and legal professions have delivered a stark warning that current UK fraud legislation is unable to cope with the continual rise in financial fraud.

Stephen Philippsohn, a member of the Fraud Advisory Panel, speaking at a conference run by CreditUK, in Manchester last week warned: "Fraud has a devastating effect on business, jobs, savings and pensions." He blamed ineffective legislation and insufficient resources. "Fraud is currently costing business £14 billion per year."

Legislation was ineffective, according to Steve Hancock, head of group money laundering prevention at Prudential plc, and was clogging up the system. He says: "current legislation says employees have a duty to report any suspicious transaction and if they don't they can be prosecuted. As a result they become paranoid and file hundreds of useless reports that all have to be processed."

According to Ken Farrow, detective chief superintendent and head of the City of London Police Economic Crime Department, there are quite simply not enough resources to effectively handle the situation. He admits: "five, even six figure frauds are being reported that forces do not have the resources or manpower to investigate."

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