High staff turnover in offshore firms and inadequate training are increasing the risk of companies becoming the victims of financial crime, according to new findings from the FSA.
In a new report reviewing financial crime controls in offshore centres, the regulator stressed firms must have appropriate training to ensure staff are quipped to identify and report incidences of financial crime.
"We found that the quality of staff training was generally poor - mainly as a result of the high level of staff attrition and consequent high level of recruitment, which makes it difficult for firms to maintain effective training on financial crime," reads the Review of financial crime controls in offshore centres.
It urges firms to review their training and introduce incentives to encourage staff to report suspected financial crimes.
As well as staff training, the report focuses on data security issues, staff recruitment and effectively reporting suspicions.
Sally Dewar, managing director of wholesale and institutional markets at the FSA, comments: "The need to focus on financial crime is more relevant than ever as fraudsters and other financial criminals will aim to use the current economic conditions to their advantage.
"To tackle financial crime effectively, firms must start thinking about the real risks it presents to their businesses and customers and not just do enough to satisfy the regulator."
The FSA also published a report covering firms' approach to managing their financial crime risks in relation to the UK financial sanctions regime.
Both reports are available at: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/About/What/financial_crime/index.shtml.
Paul Bruns and Elaine Parkes
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