PWC has replaced Deloitte as the auditors of British Land, the FTSE 100 property investor, in another sign that large-listed companies are starting to break the decades-old ties with the firms that vet their accounts.
The decision to appoint PwC means Deloitte has lost out on a contract it has held for more than ten years and earned the firm £500,000 in audit fees and £300,000 in non-audit fees last year, according to British Land’s 2013 accounts.
British Land is the latest in raft of FTSE companies to ditch their incumbent auditor in order to comply with new rules aimed at breaking the cosy ties between auditors and their clients.
In a statement to the stock exchange, British Land said firms from the mid-tier had been invited to take part in the tender process.
Berkeley Group, Marks & Spencer and Unilever have all recently appointed new firms to audit their books, while Vodafone, Britain’s second-largest listed company, has put its audit contract on the market for the first time in 26 years.
Last year, the Competition Commission imposed rules that require FTSE 350 companies to tender their audit every ten years, while European policymakers are currently pushing through rules that will force auditors to be replaced within a similar time period.
PwC’s appointment as auditor for the year commencing 1 April 2014 is subject to shareholder approval at British Land’s AGM.
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