The value of fraud reached record levels in 2011 despite recorded cases dropping by 20 per cent, according to KPMG’s Fraud Barometer.
Fraud totalled £3.5 billion in 2011, Mortgage Finance Gazette reports, with the last half of 2011 seeing fraud values reach £2.5 billion.
One fraud case alone accounted for £1.3 billion but even excluding this, the six months to December 2011 would still have seen the highest recorded amount of fraud in a six month period by KPMG.
KPMG’s Forensic Partner, Hitesh Patel, said “these figures represent the thin edge of a much bigger wedge” citing austerity measures and operational changes as having “rooted out more fraud”.
Financial institutions, despite having applied better strategies to reduce fraud and money laundering, remain under attack with 59 cases worth £1.53 billion, with the KPMG analysis revealing that this is largely by professional criminals.
KPMG has been running the Fraud Barometer for 25 years and looks at major fraud cases, where charges exceed £100,000, heard in Crown Courts in the UK.
Hitesh Patel concluded:
“Sadly due to the current economic circumstances the forecast is that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
It is important that organisations don’t become myopic on this point and ensure they have robust prevention and detection mechanisms so that they don’t lose value through the back door that they have worked so hard to preserve through these difficult times.”
One could argue that maybe this goes some way to explaining the HSBC decision to restrict their panel?
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