The study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reported that 42 per cent of financial services companies had been affected by economic crime in the past 12 months.
More than 3,000 respondents from 54 countries working in different industries were interviewed for the research.
Of the 30 per cent of companies that suffered from economic fraud, theft was the most common, followed by financial statement fraud with bribery and corruption in third place.
Tony Parton, leader of PwC's forensics practice in London, said the global financial crisis could be at the root of the crimes.
"In an economic downturn, financial targets are more difficult to achieve, individuals may feel pressured, and their personal financial position may be threatened by reductions in pay or layoffs," he stated.
Earlier this month, UBS AG was fined $13 million by British regulators after its employees falsified loan statements to conceal losses made from unauthorised trading.
By Tony Aynsley