RBS has hosted a series of seminars in Birmingham to provide local firms with information and advice to help them avoid becoming victims of fraud.
Fraud is a huge issue for the UK’s business community with figures from the Home Office1 suggesting that nearly two-thirds (62.3%) of fraud in the UK is committed against private sector companies. According to RBS’ own analysis, fraudulent activity costs large businesses (those with over 250 employees) around £4.2m per year on average2. It also estimates that fraud costs businesses in the West Midlands a total of around £3.3bn a year3.
Held in conjunction with West Midlands Police and now in their second year, the seminars attracted around 80 delegates from a broad range of industries and discussed the threats they face and the solutions available to help them minimise the risks of becoming a victim of fraud.
Delegates were welcomed by Andy Mitchell, regional director, RBS Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) and a team of police officers led by Detective Inspector Neil Postins of the Economic Crime Unit, West Midlands Police. The seminars covered the current trends in fraud risks facing businesses as well as some of the most common acts of fraud businesses face. These included cheque and electronic payment fraud, employee fraud, cyber-crime and corporate identity fraud, plus advice on anti-money laundering.
Each session also included tips and hints on how to spot fraudulent activity at an early stage and proactive advice on how to avoid fraud which were well received. One key area is in electronic payments where fraudsters send fake requests requesting companies to change bank account details for outgoing payments. Attendees were recommended to validate any requests received by calling the supplier or employee using known contact details from their own systems.
"Following on from our very successful seminars last year and our continued partnership work with RBS, we are once again being given the opportunity to provide the business community with the necessary knowledge as to how they may be targeted as well as tips and information in order to prevent them becoming a victim. Raising awareness of these issues prevents fraudsters benefiting at the expense of others. "
DI Neil Postins, Economic Crime Unit, West Midlands Police
"RBS is delighted to partner the West Midlands Police again on this increasingly relevant topic. Following the success of last year’s event, many customers requested the opportunity to engage again, to help maintain their awareness and vigilance in being able to protect their businesses and staff. RBS is pleased to be able to host a further series of seminars to keep our clients abreast of current thinking and practices."
Andy Mitchell, regional director West Midlands, RBS CIB
For further information please contact or see RBS Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB).
1 Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI) 2012
2 The AFI 2012 estimates that large companies lose £26.7bn per year as a result of fraud and at the beginning of 2011, BIS estimates that there were 6,320 large businesses (with 250 employees or more) in the UK. This is equivalent to £4.22m for every large business.
3 The BIS figures indicate that 7.3% of all businesses are in the West Midlands. The AFI 2012 estimates that fraud costs businesses £45.5bn per year. 7.3% of £45.5bn is £3.3bn.