Hedge funds wishing to demonstrate their honesty to a sceptical world can now pay for a risk assessment to show they have a low risk of fraud.

rtr23yfeFor $15,000-$20,000 Protean Fraud Risk Appraisal will use its database of every such financial crime since 1997 to see if a fund shows any suspicious characteristics.

"We've evaluated every single fraud and worked out the common areas where fraud has arisen," partner Nathan Sewell tells me.

While Sewell stresses there are no guarantees against such crimes, which are often committed by an individual or small group and can be very hard to spot, the certificate is designed to show a fund has 'a low fraud risk'.

The process, which also draws on experts from the insurance world, would have highlighted problems at the major hedge fund frauds of recent years, he claims, although he adds that it is unlikely that these funds would have called in Protean in the first place.