Is Brexit an Enabler for Fraud?

Insider Threats: Brexit and Rising Fraud Levels Amongst Employees

Forensic & Litigation Consulting

April 25, 2019

Brexit alarm clock

The results of our recent Brexit survey, Brexit in the Boardroom - Autumn 2018 Update, show that 80% of UK business leaders are fearful of job losses in their company as a result of Brexit. And two thirds (66%) said they were concerned about employees committing fraud due to the lack of job security that Brexit brings.

These results do not come as surprise to me after 30 years of investigating fraud. Motive has always been something I have tried to understand when carrying out investigations together with opportunity and rationalisation – the three aspects of the so-called Fraud Triangle. One of the primary motives for committing fraud is need, both the need for money now and in the future. And fear of losing your job clearly exacerbates that need.

Data has shown that employees are more likely to be able to commit fraud against a company versus an outsider. The reason why? Employees will know what systems are in place and, more importantly, where the weak points are—particularly those who have been with their company for more than five years. They will also have built up trust, meaning they will have more authority. So, if the fraud does get spotted, they are less likely to be put under the spotlight as most of the focus will be on outsiders.


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