Warning as employees use company debit cards to gamble

  • Disciplinary
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

UK businesses are at risk of financial fraud as employees use company bank accounts and debit cards to gamble

Gambling charity GamCare is warning that banks are failing to block gambling through business bank accounts and is creating problems as it is too easy to transfer funds from a business account to a gambling account, and banks should be taking more action.

In one example from GamCare a business owner saw her business go bust because her son, who took care of the finances, was gambling on the company debit card.

He completed thousands of transactions transferring money to betting accounts, where the bank or accountants of the company could have intervened before the issue got to that point.

Raminta Diliso, financial harm manager at GamCare, said: ‘Gambling harm can be a very hidden issue and it is worrying to hear that some people are financing their gambling through business funds.

‘Business banks need to be aware of the risks of allowing transactions to gambling companies - both for the businesses and for the people running these businesses.’

According to Public Health England, up to 1.6m people in the UK are struggling with a gambling habit.

Debt advice provider PayPlan added that self-employed individuals were most at risk of experiencing high levels of debt.

GamCare recommends four key actions banks should take to stop the prevalence of gambling fraud and misuse of company finances.

It calls for more training for banking staff so they can recognise gambling transactions when they could be harmful, and also where they should be directing the client to support.

Business banks should block gambling transactions on company debit cards; this is already done with company credit cards.

They should also identify and monitor transactions that could be because of a gambling problem and flag these accounts for further intervention when deemed necessary.

Banks should also be educating business owners on how the problem can quickly spiral out of control, thus impacting their business, as well as telling their clients about the free gambling help and support on offer.

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