A fraud triangle analysis of the libor fraud
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This study examines the effectiveness of Cressey’s (1953) fraud risks factors adopted by the AICPA and the ACFE in detecting fraud in banks involved in the LIBOR scandal. Cressey (1993) posits that, for fraud to occur, pressure, opportunity and rationalization must be present. In this article, we develop variables which serve as proxies for pressure, opportunity and rationalization and test them using data from S&P Capital relating to the sixteen banks that were involved in the LIBOR scandal with a matched sample of non-fraud banks. We identify one pressure variable (profit margin) and three opportunity variables (percentage of outside directors in the banks, number of board members on the banks’ audit committee and the banks’ involvement in litigation) that are linked to increased incidence of fraud. The variables representing rationalization are not significant in predicting fraud in banks. Auditors are encouraged to employ these variables in analyzing fraud risks in banks.
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