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FRC fines accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers £10mln after probe into auditing of BHS

The FRC also fined one of PWC’s partners £500,000 and banned him from audit work for 15 years after the two-year inquiry during which the accountancy firm admitted misconduct
BHS store
The FRC launched an investigation into the PwC audit in 2016, a year after it signed off BHS as a “going concern”

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has fined accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) £10mln after a probe into the auditing of the accounts of collapsed department store chain BHS.

The FRC has also fined one of PWC’s partners £500,000 and banned him from audit work for 15 years after the two-year inquiry during which the accountancy firm admitted misconduct.

READ: Accountants KPMG fined £4.5mln by the Financial Reporting Council for failings in its audit of Quindell

The regulator added that the fines would be reduced by 35% to £6.5mln for the auditing firm and to £325,000 for the partner, Steve Denison for agreeing to an early settlement.

Reuters reported that Denison left the auditor this month after a near 33-year career there, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The FRC launched an investigation into the PwC audit in 2016, a year after it signed off BHS as a “going concern” and billionaire retailer Philip Green sold the loss-making group for £1.

The failure of the 180 store chain was the biggest collapse in the British retail industry since the demise of Woolworths in 2008.

Earlier this week, another big accountancy firm KPMG was fined more than £4.5mln, reduced to around £3mln, by the FRC for misconduct relating to the scandal-hit insurance software firm Quindell, which changed its name to Watchstone PLC (LON:WTC) in 2015.

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November 08 2018

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