Company News » September: Elusive credit; fraud barometer rises, and more

Costly credit
Over three-quarters of CFOs have found credit harder to obtain this year,
according to Deloitte’s quarterly survey of CFOs. This is up from just under
half of respondents who found it hard to get credit in September 2007. Based on
the Q2 survey of FTSE CFOs, 89% felt credit was substantially more costly
compared to 59% in the same period last year. Almost 70% of respondents
disagreed with the US Treasury’s position that the worst of the credit crunch
was likely to be over.

Fraud on the up
KPMG’s Fraud Barometer has shown that fraudulent activity jumped 50% in the
first half of 2008 in contrast to last year. Fraudulent activity cost the UK
financial sector £60m this year so far, compared with a loss of £37m for the
whole of 2007. Accounting fraud cost £22m in 2007 with this year totalling £96m
already – pushed up by cases such as a financial controller who transferred
£750,000 to her personal account from company accounts and an NHS Trust finance
manager who fiddled the books to show a surplus of £1m instead of a £10m

Brain drain
Investing in your employees is the best way to avert recession, according to
research by business performance consultancy McKinney Rogers. McKinney, which
polled executives and business leaders across Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and
the US, found 78% felt development of their workforce reduced their exposure to

Bad news
Over half of the 5,000 companies across England and Northern Ireland surveyed by
Ipsos Mori expect the business climate to deteriorate over the next 12 months.
Transport and energy are considered costs most likely to become real burdens on
companies, with eight out of ten agreeing rises in these areas will have a
detrimental effect on cost base in the future. A further 45% of companies said
they were approaching the vagaries of the crunch by increasing prices to

Busts boom
Corporate insolvencies could soar to more than 60,000 over the next 18 months,
according to forecasts by the Credit Management Research Centre at Leeds
University Business School. The CMRC predicts insolvencies will increase sharply
over the next six months, peaking in December 2009. The Insolvency Service’s Q2
results saw an increase of 11.6% on the previous quarter and 15% on the same
period a year ago.