Peters & Peters

Peters & Peters and Crowe report shows fraud is costing UK £219 billion a year

Every year, the UK economy could be losing as much £219 billion to fraud.

This colossal figure is one of they key findings of the 2023 Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI), a round-up of the cost of fraud in the UK published by Peters & Peters Solicitors in conjunction with national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe and the University of Portsmouth Centre for Cybercrime and Economic Crime.

Stark figures

The headline figures are staggering:

– Private sector losses are estimated at £157.8 billion, from just £14 billion in 2017.
– Public sector fraud losses amount to about £50.2 billion.
– Frauds committed directly against individuals, including marketing fraud and identity fraud, is around £8.3 billion.
– The total cost of fraud has risen from about £190 billion in 2017 to almost £219 billion.

This is uncomfortable reading, especially as this report looks back over the Covid-19 pandemic, during which unscrupulous actors took advantage of the crisis to defraud the public purse.

And yet, as Peters & Peters’ Head of Fraud & Commercial Disputes Jonathan Tickner explains, Britain has enough expert investigators, forensic accountants and lawyers to identify and prove fraud, hunt down assets and recover money efficiently.

“This is an opportunity for government to secure funds for a range of projects over the years ahead.” he said.


Gold, silver and bronze

The report is structured around three main categories: the private sector, the public sector and individuals. It estimates the cost of fraud in each category as well as for some sub-categories, rating them in a gold, silver and bronze classification of confidence.

Areas studied include:

– procurement and payroll
– financial sector sales
– non-financial sector sales
– central government tax
– TV licence fee income
– central government excluding benefits
– local government
– benefits and tax credits