ERNST & YOUNG IRELAND is to be hauled before a disciplinary panel over its audit of troubled Anglo Irish Bank.
The firm faces accusations of sub-standard work on three counts, the Financial Times states, following a report by former Irish comptroller and auditor-general John Purcell.
E&Y might have tripped up on large loans made by Anglo Irish to its former chairman, Sean Fitzpatrick, and has also come under fire for a loan given to former bank director William McAteer.
Purcell also raised concerns over the way E&Y handled transactions between Anglo Irish and rival bank Irish Life & Permanent during the 2008 crisis.
E&Y Ireland yesterday said it “fundamentally disagrees” with the call for a disciplinary hearing, adding: “This is a preliminary stage of the process and, for the avoidance of doubt, there has been no adverse finding made against Ernst & Young in respect of the audit of Anglo Irish Bank.”
The Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board will now set a date for the disciplinary hearing. E&Y is already embroiled in a legal tussle over its audit of doomed Lehman Brothers, and this accusation could be another blow to its reputation.
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Pell admits he was “a bit surprised” by the letter but believed the audit would re-start after a number of issues have been resolved