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May 18, 2010

Boards unprepared for fraud risks: E&Y study

Global boards are insufficiently prepared to deal with new fraud and corruption risks businesses face, according a recent survey by Ernst & Young (E&Y).

Three-quarters of respondents, who were senior finance professionals, said company boards are increasingly concerned about personal liability stemming from fraud, bribery and corruption.

Despite this, a large number of companies do not perform frequent risk assessments, increasing the risk of fraud.

The 11th Global Fraud Survey: Driving ethical growth – new markets, new challenges quizzed more than 1,400 chief financial officers and heads of legal, compliance and internal audit from companies in 36 countries.

According to the report, 18% of UK companies failed to perform a fraud risk assessment within the past 12 months, followed by companies in Western Europe (14%) and the rest of the world (11%).

“Increased enforcement against fraud, bribery and corruption is a priority in many major markets,” said John Smart, E&Y UK and Ireland fraud investigation and dispute services leader.

“Individual executives and directors will not be immune from prosecution. Indeed, the passage of the UK’s Bribery Act is the latest example of a more robust approach to punishing the unethical conduct of individuals and corporates, and one that may have extraterritorial application.”



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