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Register of interests to be released by accounting regulator

The accounting watchdog for the UK intends to release a register of interests with details on ties between senior execs and the firms it oversees, in a bid to tackle concerns over its independence.

The Financial Reporting Council’s Sir Winfried Bischoff said at a recent meeting held by the regulator that it is vital that the FRC retains confidence in the way in which it comes to decisions, on matters of enforcement, in particular.

Sir Winfried, who had once held executive positions at Citigroup and Schroders, the largest listed asset manager in Britain, said:

“The decision announced earlier this week to end the investigation into KPMG’s audit of HBOS has been questioned by media and politicians, and it has attracted questions about our independence.

“It is vital that these decisions are taken based on the available evidence rather than on political considerations or public clamour.”

The meeting came just 48 hours after the FRC became under fire for clearing accountancy firm KPMG of misconduct over its audit of lending firm HBOS. Sir Winifred was the Lloyds Banking Group chairman; the bank came to HBOS’ aid between 2009 and 2014.

Executives in the UK, along with the companies they run, are being watched more than ever by accounting bodies. It is the job of an accountant in the Wirral to ensure that their clients accounting figures do not give tax inspectors cause for concern – a task they have thus far proved apt at achieving.

Posted by Peter
October 10, 2017

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