Sharp jump in level of company fraud

The level of fraud faced by British companies jumped to £1.1bn between January and June, according to accountants at KPMG, up from £609m in the same period last year.

The private sector was burdened with almost half of the total volume, with the average case value of private sector fraud jumping from £2.5m in the first half of 2010 to £4.2m this year.

"The evolution of e-commerce, as well as increased reliance on automated payment systems and the ability of professional criminals to stay one step ahead, has swollen overall UK fraud figures," KPMG partner Hitesh Patel said, adding: "Although it is just as prevalent in larger organisations, the small and medium-sized companies are more likely to suffer dire consequences."