Many Midlands businesses are taking a short-sighted approach to the risk of fraud which is leaving them exposed to potential financial loss and reputational damage, according to our recent survey.
Our analysis of the views of Midlands business leaders identified that 42% believe they are exposed to fraud, with nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents stating they believe a high level of fraud in their organisation goes undetected.
The research revealed that many organisations in the region are not going far enough to identify risks and take steps that will enable them to minimise the threat of fraud to their business.
Whilst the findings showed that nearly three-quarters (72%) have fraud policies and procedures in place, 60% aren’t aware of any ethics or anti-fraud training for staff. Firms need to take fraud protection to the next level to properly safeguard their businesses.
Training can be a powerful weapon, and educating staff about the danger signs they should look out for, who they should report any concerns to and keeping them up to date on possible threats to the organisation is critical. Such engagement with staff is also a valuable means of understanding the risks that an organisation may face, something which is often overlooked.
SMEs, of which we have a high proportion in the Midlands, are also both disproportionately victimised by fraud and notably under protected by anti-fraud controls. Companies, particularly smaller entities, need to take stock and ensure that their fraud policies and procedures are sufficient and effective so that as they grow, so does their protection.
The cost of fraud is considerable – an estimated £30 billion a year across the UK. Organisations must ensure that the procedures and checks and balances they have in place are robust, work effectively and are regularly reviewed and updated to protect themselves against new threats.