Working together to beat on-line scams

James Brokenshire has underlined the need for industry and Government businesses to work more closely together in a bid to beat cyber-crime during a breakfast briefing with local business leaders.

James told members of the FaB breakfast club at McBrides Chartered Accountants that the opportunities for criminals to perpetrate fraud have never been so rife.

“We need to get good intelligence to understand where the threats are coming from to target our resources and focus appropriately,” James said. “Cyber crime is a real threat to business and to the Government.”

However, he said the severity of cyber crime should never be under-estimated and warned: “There are sophisticated organised crime groups looking to scam customers. A fraudster does not distinguish between private and public sector businesses. By sharing our knowledge, we can build up resilience. Strengthening partnerships will enhance our capabilities. Businesses lose billions of pounds each year through fraud. We cannot afford to be complacent.”

Other topics discussed during the breakfast session included planning for the Olympics, with James commenting that the Games were an ideal platform for the South East to show it was a great place in which to invest and to do business.

“The UK has one of the most competitive tax systems within the G20,” he said.

FaB – the Finance and Business breakfast club founded by McBrides - includes bankers, lawyers and financial directors from across the South East.

Over breakfast, McBrides Tax Partner Terry Baldwin gave members valuable business tax saving tips on pensions, capital allowances and EMI share options.

James Brokenshire MP said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with such a strong representation of financial decision-makers in the South East, under one roof.

Strong SMEs are the building blocks of the UK economy and it is important that we as a Government work with them closely.  McBrides FaB club is a fine example of a business demonstrating to others how shared expertise can reap greater rewards for all.”

FaB meetings are held quarterly at McBrides offices, Nexus House in Sidcup, and membership is free. For further information, email shirley.caddock@mcbridesllp.com.