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Staff are less sensitive about fraud in downturn, says Ernst & Young

FRAUDULENT business behaviours are becoming more acceptable as the recession worsens, an Ernst &amp; Young survey suggested yesterday.<br /><br />The accountancy said of 2,200 workers in major firms across Europe half thought one or more unethical activities &ndash; such as giving a cash bribe to win work &ndash; was acceptable.<br /><br />There was even a significant minority &ndash; 13 per cent of senior managers &ndash; that said distorting their company&rsquo;s financial performance was justifiable to survive today&rsquo;s turbulent economic climate.<br /><br />The highest acceptance of bad practices was seen in Turkey, with 53 per cent thinking it&rsquo;s fine to give a cash bribe to win work compared to 14 per cent in the UK. The group added that 70 per cent agree management is likely to cut corners in the downturn.