Charities lost £1.1bn to fraud last year, says National Fraud Authority

Survey of 3,200 charities says they lose about 1.7 per cent of income this way, though the figure is down on 2009/10

Home Office, where the authority is based
Home Office, where the authority is based

Charities in the UK estimate that they lost £1.1bn to fraud in 2010/11, according to the latest figures from the National Fraud Authority.

About 34,000 charities in England, Wales and, for the first time, Scotland, were contacted by the authority – 3,204 responded.

According to the figures, contained in the NFA’s Annual Fraud Indicator, charities estimate that they lose 1.7 per cent of their annual income to fraud.

The figure of £1.1bn is down on the previous year’s survey, which estimated that charity fraud amounted to £1.3bn among charities in England and Wales. The survey estimates total fraud in the UK at £73bn; fraud involving charities makes up 1.5 per cent of this amount.

Of the charities surveyed, 4 per cent say they were victims of fraud in the previous year. Sam Younger, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said it had today published a new fraud strategy that explains how the commission deals with financial crime, when it will intervene and how it works to prevent the problem.

"Strong financial controls and good governance are key to reducing the risks to charity assets," he said. "These are vital if charities are to meet the public’s expectation that the money they donate is used properly and goes to the causes for which it is intended."

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