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How can you protect your business against fraud?

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 07 Jun 2022

The Fraud Advisory Panel and Barclays Bank have launched a new campaign to help and support businesses in the fight against fraud.

The Love Business, Hate Fraud campaign aims to raise awareness of the threat fraud poses to UK businesses, especially smaller ones. Over the coming year it will provide simple, practical advice to businesses to help them spot and stop fraud more easily.

A new social media campaign, toolkit for business, and series of free online events will shine the spotlight on topical issues affecting businesses including buying goods and services safely, staff fraud, cybercrime, and managing the risks.

Lee Fitzgerald, Fraud Risk Strategy Director, Barclays International, says: “Barclays has an established track record for being advocates of fraud education and awareness and were the first UK Bank to use television adverts to promote fraud awareness.” 

Fitzgerald adds: “We see our partnership with the Fraud Advisory Panel as an intrinsic part of Barclays’ ongoing manifesto to eradicate fraud and scams in the UK. We are here to help UK businesses of all sizes defend themselves from fraud and scams and fully support the Fraud Advisory Panel’s Love Business, Hate Fraud campaign.”

Founded in 1998 by ICAEW, the Fraud Advisory Panel is a charitable company that acts as the voice of the counter-fraud profession. The panel aims to strengthen fraud resilience by championing best practice in fraud prevention, detection, reporting, investigation and prosecution.

Sir David Green CB QC, Chair of the Fraud Advisory Panel, says: “We all benefit when small businesses thrive, bringing growth and prosperity to our communities. We don’t want to see a single business fail because of fraud, and so the harm this crime is causing must not go unchallenged.”

Half of SMEs see fraud as a major risk to growth

It comes as a new survey, commissioned to support the launch of the campaign, found that 44% of SMEs, and 49% of all businesses, agreed that fraud was a major risk to growing their business over the next two years.

For those SMEs that had experienced crime in the past two years, 18% said fraud was the most disruptive single crime they face, ahead of cybercrime, burglary, robbery, theft and assault.

When asked what they thought was the biggest barrier to tackling fraud, 21% of SMEs said a lack of understanding of how it could affect their business, while 20% said the cost of taking action.

With fraud the UK’s most common crime, the concern is that long-term economic growth could be hurt if preventative action is not taken now, the Panel said.

“Our survey shows that for many businesses, significant barriers to preventing fraud remain. Our campaign aims to overcome these,” says Green.

He adds: “I urge everyone who cares about small businesses – their owners, staff, customers and suppliers – to support our campaign to show fraudsters that we love business and hate fraud.”

Findings are based on a survey of 1,009 businesses of which 754 were SMEs (with fewer than 250 employees) carried out in April 2022 by independent market research firm Savanta, on behalf of the Fraud Advisory Panel and Barclays.

To find out more, visit Love Business, Hate Fraud

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