Taking Stock: Which Big Four firm doesn’t Barclays fancy?

SOMETIMES, TS muses, it’s about what’s unsaid and not the rhetoric.

TS’ eyebrows (all 17 of ‘em) were raised at the number of redactions included in Barclays’ submission to the Competition Commission on the watchdog’s findings and remedies to sort out the audit market.

There are six redactions related to Barclays’ numerical take on how involved its audit committee is with its external auditors.

The other redaction contained in the ‘non-confidential’ version of Barclays’ submission is much more interesting – pertaining to the number of firms it feels could carry out its audit work.

“Barclays considers that there are only [REDACTED] UK-based auditing firms currently capable of carrying out its audit work (all of which are in the Big Four).”

We can safely assume that list includes PwC, which has held the contract for a whopping 117 years, but the redaction implies that at least one of the Big Four isn’t up to the task, in the bank’s eyes.

So, with Barclays looking to put its audit out to tender this year, it would certainly save the other firms a few quid if the bank ‘fessed up and made it clear who it thinks need not bother taking part in the tender process…

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