Construction fraud hits eight-year high

19 March 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Fraud in the construction sector has hit an eight-year high, according to new research.

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO’s Fraud Track report, which examines all reported fraud over £50,000 in the UK, found that fraud within construction firms soared by almost £6m from £2.6m (2017) to £8.3m (in 2018).

That takes the value of reported fraud in the sector to its highest level since 2010.

The increase of fraud in the construction industry bucks the national trend; overall UK reported fraud more than halved in 2018 – down from £2.1bn to £746.3m.

Kaley Crossthwaite, head of fraud at accountancy firm BDO, said: “With rising economic pressures and the continuing sophistication in technology, detecting fraud – and more importantly, preventing it - is an acute and contemporary risk for many.

“Although cover pricing and bid rigging has been brought to the forefront due to some high-profile CMA investigations, employee and third-party fraud is, as always, a major contributor to this year’s figures. Businesses should put in place greater training, controls and monitoring of those who have access to critical business and financial information. Better self-policing, strong whistle-blowing policies and developing a culture of transparency across all levels of the organisation are good first steps to take to help tackle fraud and corruption in the industry.

“I would urge businesses to be vigilant, particularly as the general economic outcome is uncertain. All businesses should have a plan in place to deal with fraud from discovery to recovery.”


I’ve experienced the above, but also got crushed on a construction site where no inductions were given back when I was in the final year of my CIOB accredited degree in construction management.

Despite breaking my leg with multiple fractures, breaking my chest (sternum) been knocked unconscious with multiple soft tissue injuries and post accident stress I still managed to obtain a first class honours degree.

Unfortunately I didn’t receive a penny in compensation because the company involved forged my signature over health and safety documents and RAMs which I had never been presented with.

This meant my solicitor dropped my case after 2 years and 10 months not allowing me the opportunity to find another solicitor under the 3 year rule.

Jonathan Baker, 19 March 2019

Jonathan, While I would like to congratulate and commend you on your achievement; I do feel utterly disappointed to hear your story.

It's about ethical practices and raising the standards. If we can not achieve this in England where we discuss and raise issues through many forums, I can just wonder what must be going on globally?

mukesh kashyap, 26 March 2019

Jonathan Baker, surely even if another solicitor had started the case it should still be valid under the 3 year rule, as he/she can just pass details on to another solicitor. Just out of curiosity you don't need to say the company name but just the initial would do. If they forged your signature then im surprised your solicitor you had did not get a writing expert to prove the signature wasn't yours.Then they could have also been done for Fraud too. Im assuming. if you have given up they have got away with it. Very sad you suffered all those injuries and you have not been compensated for it.

Julie, 9 June 2019

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