White-collar crime widespread in Switzerland

White-collar crime is damaging for the Swiss economy. Photopress

Three-quarters of Swiss companies claim to be the victims of white-collar crime, costing them SFr8 billion ($6.3 billion) annually, according to a survey.

This content was published on August 10, 2005 - 21:31

But the majority of the 250 firms which took part in the study were unwilling to devote more than SFr50,000 a year towards prevention measures.

According to research by KPMG Switzerland, a global provider of audit, tax and advisory services, deception offences topped the list of problems, affecting nearly half of the participants.

Bribery and corruption was in second place at 12 per cent, followed by data theft and copyright violation (ten per cent).

At the bottom of the list were sabotage or hacking and falsifying annual results or financial information (five per cent).

About a fifth of participants thought that internal inadequacies within the system of controls were to blame for criminal activity.

More than three-quarters predicted that white-collar crime would rise in the future.

Commentators said the survey came as no great surprise – recent reports by non-governmental organisation Transparency International and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have already addressed this issue.

The Federal Police Office estimates that the value of such crimes is worth up to four per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.


In brief

Participants were affected by the following:

Deception offences - 42 per cent

Bribery and corruption - 12 per cent

Data theft and copyright violation - 10 per cent

Sabotage or hacking and falsifying annual results or financial information - 5 per cent

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Key facts

Another study by KPMG found that 84 per cent of white-collar crime was committed by in-house employees.
Its latest report into Switzerland found that the problem faced most often by local firms was deception.

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