SFO fosters confidence in money markets

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has said that two recent surveys highlighted the positive impact that rebuilding the Department has had in helping to bring back public confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets.

Independent research conducted by MMResearch Limited surveyed complainants and victims of fraud and corruption, as well as the public (see Table below).

The first-ever survey of complainants and victims of financial crime found that 97% agreed that the work of the SFO was helping to bring integrity to New Zealand’s financial markets, while a survey of the general public found that 66% agreed that SFO did a good job bringing offenders to account.

Adam Feeley, who recently relinquished his post as Chief Executive, said, “These results are the collective result of the SFO, Police, Financial Markets Authority and other agencies working together to ensure that we build New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to invest and do business.”

Mr Feeley said that even with the investigations into finance companies largely concluded, the SFO would have to continue to work alongside other agencies, to reassure the public that where financial crime is found, prompt and efficient action will now be taken.

“In the last financial year, we commenced 40 new investigations, none of which was related to finance companies; half of it was joint work with other agencies. The conclusions from this are obvious.

“Financial crime will continue long after the finance companies are dealt with, and an effective response to it will depend on the SFO working in partnership with other public sector agencies, and with strong support from professional service firms, and the business community.”

MMResearch conducted the Survey in June 2012, sending letters to 62 contacts, 36 of whom responded on line or telephone.

The results below represent those who agreed or strongly agreed with the stated proposition as a percentage of those who agreed; strongly agreed; disagreed; strongly disagreed; or were neutral.

“Don’t know/not applicable” were discounted.

Proposition

% Agree

The actions of SFO helps ensure that offenders are being held to account

100

The work of SFO helps bring integrity to New Zealand’s financial markets and/or legal system

97

I was treated with courtesy and respect by the SFO

91

My concerns were understood and considered by the SFO

89

The SFO compares favourably to other public sector agencies (if any) I have dealt with

87

SFO helped me understand the investigation and/or trial processes

80

The sentence imposed fairly reflected the offending that occurred

65

– Serious Fraud Office Press Release

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