The regulator that monitors UK financial reporting is to investigate two of the big four accountancy firms over their role in the failures of the retailer BHS and the banking group HBOS. The Financial Reporting Council, responsible for overseeing UK accounting standards, began an investigation into PricewaterhouseCoopers over its audit of the collapsed high street chain BHS when it was owned by Sir Philip Green. It has begun a parallel investigation into whether KPMG should have signed off on the accounts of HBOS, which was bought by Lloyds as the banking crisis gathered pace in September 2008. BHS fell into administration in April, with the loss of 11,000 jobs, 13 months after Green’s Arcadia group sold it to the businessman Dominic Chappell for £1. The FRC said it had “launched an investigation under the accountancy scheme into the conduct of PricewaterhouseCoopers in relation to the audit of the financial statements of BHS Ltd for the year ended 30 August 2014”. KPMG is also being investigated under the scheme.Such an investigation can be launched when “the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom”. It also requires that “there are reasonable grounds to… Read full this story
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