Ex-SFO chief calls for fraud laws to be made simpler

A former director of the Serious Fraud Office will today attack what she calls "a confusing hotchpotch of internal and external obligations which is undoubtedly hampering the fight against fraud".

Ros Wright's criticisms will come in a report on corporate fraud for the Fraud Advisory Panel. It calls on the Government and businesses to develop a more consistent approach to help to cut corporate fraud, which is estimated to cost the economy £30bn a year.

Ms Wright, who chairs the panel, will say: "Corporate fraud is a very real and pervasive threat to UK plc. It does great damage to individual businesses and to the economy as a whole. If companies do not have a true handle on the fraud problem within their organisations, they are going to fall prey to fraudsters."

The panel, a registered charity established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, wants to see a streamlining of existing obligations to report fraud, greater weight given to companies' public interests, ethical and social responsibility to report fraud, and greater protections to be introduced for whistleblowers.

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