Fraud increasing amid volatile economic climate

Executive management at Managed Integrity Evaluation (Pty) Ltd. say that the financial sector is particularly prudent – and necessarily so - when it comes to recruitment processes and security checks on individuals.

“The issue of stricter measures to check the credibility and integrity of prospective employees is one that affects every industry in the marketplace today. But the financial sector is especially strict,” explains Ina van der Merwe, CEO, MIE.

Van der Merwe says the main reason for this approach and rationale behind the mindset within the financial space is because people employed to manage public funds have to do so without succumbing to temptation.

“If something should happen, it is the company that is publicly accountable, not necessarily the employees,” she adds.

Despite a growing awareness of the need to have qualified personnel within business and the risks of not conducting effective checks on prospective employees, fraud remains a growing challenge.

“Continual screening is necessary in the market today. The fact is that anything can happen to anyone. People with sound track records, those who have no indiscretions in their past, could become embroiled in situations that they have no control over. There is a snowball effect and suddenly this employee’s perspectives change at work and they could easily become a risk,” says van der Merwe.

Management at MIE notice that as financial constraint dominates trade and industry, employers tend to conduct fewer checks on current and prospective employees.

This exacerbates fraud among those desperate to secure employment. An increased fraud rate together with a screening policy that is not comprehensive means that there is a high chance of hiring someone with a fake credential.

In order to work at a financial institution, the Financial Services Board (FSB) requires that the candidate be compliant as per directives laid down by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) legislation.

Compliancy checks in the financial sector have to be conducted every six months. This adds another layer of regulation and control to the industry, one that is certainly beneficial and all-important says MIE.

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