Fraud is Costing Small Businesses Nearly £8bn

13% of small and medium-sized firms are affected by company fraud, with 1% losing over £10,000

Company fraud affected 13% of the UK’s small and medium enterprises, costing 286,000 businesses a total of almost £8bn, according to information group Experian’s small and mid-sized business reputation index.

While the average amount of money lost per business was £2,627; company fraud cost 3% of businesses up to £5,000, £1% between £5,000 and £10,000, and an additional 1% over £10,000.

The findings made direct connections between employee numbers and fraud, with medium-sized firms (over nine staff members) experiencing higher fraud levels than micro-businesses (less than nine employees) – 27% compared to small firms’ 11%.

Global information group Experian examined over 500 UK small business owners for the index and stress that the results highlight the need for small firms to protect themselves from common cases of fraud – and not regard it as something that happens to larger corporations in a more high-profile context.

Managing director of Experian’s small and mid-sized business section, Ade Potts, commented:

“Some of the smallest of businesses in the UK are just as likely to become victims of fraud as their larger counterparts.

“No matter what the size of the loss, whether it is £1,000 or £10,000, an unplanned loss can have a big impact on a small or medium-sized business, both financially and operationally.”

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