The economic climate has pushed white collar crime in the UK to an all-time high according to the latest report from accountancy firm BDO LLP.

In it’s six monthly update on reported fraud BDO suggested fraud losses rocketed to £1.1 billion for the first half of this year, almost the same amount as the whole of 2008 and up from £960 million compared with the first six month of 2009.

In seven years of the report being compiled this is the first time fraud levels have soared above the £1 billion barrier during a six- month period.

Simon Bevan, head of the Fraud Services Unit at BDO, says: ‘In the past we have seen a focus on procurement type frauds, such as public and private sector organisations paying too much for goods and services. However, we are starting to see more revenue dilution fraud, where management either set up “companies within companies” or divert lucrative contracts away from the company to third party accomplices.’

Bevan adds that there has also been an increase in insider dealing: ‘The Financial Services Authority has been cracking down on this, with a number of individuals receiving criminal convictions and/or confiscation orders.’

The average value of a single act of fraud has increased to almost £6 million, up from £5 million last year. According to BDO, London and the South East are the main hotspots for fraud activity.