Sunday 19 January 2014 11:50 pm

Disclosure rules push up fraud cases in finance

TIGHTER regulations have led to a spike in reported fraud in financial services firms and in money laundering, research out today claimed. Overall reported fraud fell from £1.37bn in 2012 to £1.05bn last year, marking the second consecutive year of falling total values. However, the figures are likely to underestimate the overall level of fraudulent gains in Britain, as many cases go unreported or fail to make it to court, said BDO, which conducted the research. Money laundering cases rose from 33 in 2012 to 39 last year, with the total value jumping from £70m to £288m. The figure was skewed by several massive cases coming to court, including a family-run bureau de change in Notting Hill that laundered more than £150m before being caught. Financial services cases, which now make up more than half of the overall value of reported fraud, rose by value from £473m to £532m. “We firmly believe that the ever increasing regulatory and compliance burden imposed on financial services firms… means that fraud which historically may not have been reported, but rather dealt with privately in-house, is now coming out driven by a growing demand for transparency,” said Kaley Crossthwaite, head of fraud at BDO. She added that some of the rise in money laundering is also due to greater disclosure within finance firms. Meanwhile tax fraud made up £142m of the cases recorded, while employee fraud accounted for £77.8m and mortgage fraud for £75.6m. The research was based on all reported fraud cases worth more than £50,000. The average value of the fraud cases included in the research fell to £2m, from £3.3m in the previous year and £5.1m in 2011.