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Behaviour of bank auditors

As I already said auditors have a responsibility in the collapse of confidence : many of them certified accounts despite red flags all the more than the relationship auditor-auditee is a commercial relationship. I the auditor does not certify he knows that he may lose the client. As far as declarations of suspicion are concerned, of the auditor report a declaration of suspicion he knpws that he will lose the client (and the prospects).

An Early Day Motion was published last 16 October in the UK :

That this House is concerned to find that the banks which have failed in the US, Britain and the EU all had clean bills of health from auditors who are dependent for their appointment and fees on companies and their directors; notes that in all these cases auditors also acted as consultants to the companies and reported on the transactions they created, resulting in a financial dependency which inhibited auditors from doing effective audits or drawing public attention to the questionable mixture of toxic debts, off balance sheet accounting, and dubious asset values which brought the banks down; points out that in 2007 PriceWaterhouseCoopers charged Northern Rock £2.4 million (2006: £1.8 million) of which £1 million (2006: £1 million) was for consultancy, KPMG charged Bradford and Bingley £1.4 million (2006: £1.7 million) of which £0.8 million (2006: £0.8 million) was for consultancy, KPMG charged HBOS £11.4 million (2006: £11.2 million) of which £3.4 million (2006: £4.4 million) was for consultancy, Deloitte and Touche charged RBS £31.4 million (2006: £23 million) of which £14.2 million (2006: £11.1 million) was for consultancy and PriceWaterhouseCoopers charged Lloyds TSB £14.6 million (2006: £17 million) of which £1.5 million (2006: £2 million) was for consultancy; and therefore suggests that audits of banks should be directly conducted by the regulators on a real time basis and external auditors of banks must not act as consultants to the banks or the directors

I wish other parliaments reported the issue.

Read motion

18:26 Posted in UK | Permalink | Comments (0)

OECD Group demands rapid UK action to enact adequate anti-bribery laws

The OECD's Working Group on Bribery sharply criticised the United Kingdom’s failure to bring its anti-bribery laws into line with its international obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and urged the rapid introduction of new legislation (watch the press conference).

Current UK legislation makes it very difficult for prosecutors to bring an effective case against a company for alleged bribery offenses. Although the UK ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention 10 years ago, it has so far failed to successfully prosecute any bribery case against a company.

In light of the numerous issues of serious concern, the Working Group has requested the UK to provide quarterly written reports on legislative progress for each Working Group meeting. It may also carry out follow-up visits to the UK, and may take further appropriate action after it considers the reports or any on-site visits.

The Working Group warned that uncertainty over the UK’s legislative framework may trigger a need for increased due diligence over UK companies by their commercial partners or multilateral development banks.

Read press release

18:12 Posted in UK | Permalink | Comments (0)


Whitehall accused of blocking UN plan to stop tax evasion

The Guardian has reported that the British government is attempting to torpedo a section of an international plan to eradicate tax evasion with the view of protecting the interests of City law and accountancy firms.

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13:15 Posted in UK | Permalink | Comments (0)