20 Nov 2009

Increase in fraud by managers - survey

9:44 am on 20 November 2009

There's been a sharp increase in fraud by middle and senior managers, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The global economic survey crime found that in New Zealand, the number of middle and senior managers committing fraud had jumped compared to two years ago.

The Global Economic Crime Survey questioned 85 companies in New Zealand, of which 42% were victim to fraud in the past year. The average value of goods or money stolen was about $500,000.

In 72% of the cases the fraud was committed by someone inside the company.

Of those who committed fraud, 46% were middle or senior managers, compared to 24.5% two years earlier.

New Zealand's rate of fraud was eighth highest of 54 countries in which the survey was carried out. The survey questioned more than 3,000 organisations.

Eric Lucas, a forensics partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, says people are such more pressure as a consequence of the economic downturn that they can become tempted to undertake fraud.

"They're afraid of losing their jobs, they're not getting paid bonuses, they see other people losing their jobs," he says.