UK financial decision makers don’t know if they are a victim of fraud

A new report finds a 138 percent relative year-on-year increase in the concern over insider fraud.

Bottomline Technologies, a provider of financial technology which helps businesses pay and get paid, launches the 2nd edition of its annual report, the UK Business Payments Barometer: Payments for a new economy, which reveals that fraud and the need for greater cyber-security measures remain high on the agenda for financial decision makers.

The UK Business Payments Barometer: Payments for a new economy is an annual report which surveys over 400 financial decision makers including business owners and CFOs – from small businesses to enterprises employing over 10,000 employees. The comprehensive report finds a dramatic shift in the level of concern around different types of financial fraud, compared to last year’s results.

The worry over internal fraud has experienced a significant 138 per cent relative year-on-year increase. More than 30 per cent of financial decision makers expressed concern over fraud committed by internal staff, compared with just 13 per cent in 2016.

But external fraud remains a bigger concern for financial decision makers this year, with 56 per cent of respondents naming external cyber fraud as a concern – compared to 37 per cent in 2016.

The report also discovers that of those financial decision makers that were certain they had been impacted by fraud (12 per cent), 17 per cent estimated that ten per cent or more of their company’s revenue had been affected – down from 36 per cent from 2016.

While the number of companies experiencing over ten per cent of revenue impacted by fraud is on decline, the report suggests that more businesses could be falling victim to smaller, parasitic scams. Two thirds (68 per cent) of respondents claim that up to ten per cent of their company’s revenue had been affected – a 28 per cent increase from last year.

Most concerning is that 56 per cent of respondents simply did not know whether they had been impacted by finance fraud or not.

‘It is important for organisations to have robust measures to prevent loss due to error and fraud, in particular, ensuring payments are being made to correct suppliers – not fraudsters’, says Ed Adshead-Grant, general manager, payments at Bottomline Technologies.

The report finds that one in four corporates are using blacklists for anti-money laundering sanction filtering, which potentially leaves three in four firms subject to significant penalties and sanctions.

Adshead-Grant continues, ‘Account validation and verification measures are easy to plug in and use on the vendor database, rather than at the point of payment submission, to help identify errors and international frauds earlier in the process.’

Bottomline Technologies warns that companies need to ensure they have the correct security measures and awareness in place to protect them as much as possible against all types of internal and external payment fraud. ‘No-one can be complacent. Companies have a duty of care for customers and suppliers that they have the correct security measures to protect their payments and financial processes’,  adds Adshead-Grant.

Further reading on fraud

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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