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Fraud survey

HALF of firms in Ireland have been hit by serious fraud in the last two years -- three times above the global average.

The 11th edition of the Global Fraud Survey from professional services firm Ernst & Young includes Ireland for the first time. The global average, according to the survey, is 16pc.

"These figures are perhaps unsurprising given the credit crunch and ensuing recession," said Ernst & Young's Julie Fenton.

"There has been increased pressure on businesses to maintain financial results in difficult conditions, which has encouraged new frauds."