UK watchdog to claim power to ban auditors

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LONDON, April 14 (Reuters)Britain’s accounting watchdog will reclaim the power to ban auditors under proposals announced on Thursday.

Powers were previously delegated by the government to professional accountancy bodies such as the ICAEW at a time when the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) was a small watchdog with far fewer resources.

But after the collapse of business at builder Carillion, retailer BHS and cafe chain Patisserie Valerie, the FRC is being consolidated into a stronger regulator to improve auditing standards and take on a series full of regulatory responsibilities.

“The proposal will strengthen the Financial Reporting Council’s oversight toolkit and allow it to increasingly assert itself in holding audit firms accountable for delivering a high quality audit,” the FRC said in a statement. a statement.

“The FRC may impose conditions, suspensions and delete the record if necessary.”

One of three government-backed reviews following the business collapse recommended in 2018 that registration powers be repatriated to the regulator.

The FRC said it currently does not have sufficient powers to address systemic problems with auditors such as EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC – the so-called Big Four which audit the bulk of major UK businesses – and that he had to rely on the registration powers. professional bodies.

The proposals are open for public consultation until May 26.

(Reporting by Huw Jones Editing by David Goodman)

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