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European employees: ‘management are fraudsters’

Wed 19 May 2010

, Leap, LEAP

More than half of the European employees expect corporate fraud to increase over the next few years. And 42 percent say the senior ranks pose the biggest threat of fraud, reveals Ernst & Young’s European fraud survey 2009. 

In the current climate, management are under incredible pressure to stabilise their businesses and meet financial targets. However, it is management who must take the lead in responding to the threat of fraud and corruption, and set the tone for all employees to follow. But respondents in Ernst & Young’s European Fraud Survey 2009 suggest management are part of the problem.


European employees overwhelmingly question the integrity of their leaders. The survey reveals that many employees would accept fraud and corruption in the work place in order to survive the current economic storm and indeed senior management are even more likely than rank and file to condone activities such as cash bribes and financial statement fraud. Interestingly, while about a third, 29 percent, of the respondents believe management to be untrustworthy, 42 percent say that the senior ranks in an organization pose the biggest threat of fraud. And 55 percent expect corporate fraud to increase over the next few years.

Dutch least pessimistic

The Western European average of people who expect corporate fraud to rise is 54 percent. With a 31 percent average, Holland ranks the least pessimistic; while 76 percent of the Greek respondents believe to see an increase of corporate fraud in the next few years. The survey was conducted in 2009, before the current Greek crisis. The 2009 European Fraud Survey reflects the views of over 2,200 respondents — from the shop floor to the boardroom — in 22 countries.

Download Ernst & Young’s European Fraud Survey 2009 – Is integrity a causality of the downturn here.