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Economic crime costs UK businesses £40 billion


Economic crime cost UK businesses more than £40 billion last year ? equivalent to £100 million a day ? and the problem is getting worse, according to a report launched by business advisers and accountants, RSM Robson Rhodes.


In all, UK companies lost £32 billion in 2003 through acts such as fraud, embezzlement, corruption and money laundering, and spent a further £8 billion seeking to combat the problem. FTSE 100 companies alone lost an estimated £500 million and all listed companies lost £3 billion.


The survey findings show that boards are beginning to acknowledge the severity of economic crime, with 81% of respondents believing that it could impact on the company's share price and 78% stating that it could have a serious impact on brand image.


However, although 93% agree that the board has ultimate responsibility, ?corporate denial' is rife. Only 57% of UK boards believe that they have an understanding of the financial cost of economic crime.


?The £40 billion cost to business is staggering and could be just the tip of the iceberg,? says Bill Cleghorn, forensic partner at RSM Robson Rhodes.

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