E&Y appeals against ruling in Equitable Life case

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Ernst & Young has launched an appeal to overturn the decision of a
disciplinary body considering complaints about the firm’s conduct on the audit
of Equitable Life.

But details of the findings against the firm and partner Kevin McNamara will
remain under wraps and unpublished until the appeal process is completed. A
hearing is due to take place in October.

The news emerged this week after an injunction was discharged at the High
Court which had blocked the Accountants Joint Disciplinary Scheme (JDS) from
revealing details of the appeal and from sending a copy of its tribunal findings
to the FSA, which is the regulator for insurance companies.

E&Y this week confirmed the appeal was under way and added: ‘After taking
legal advice in December, we sought to keep confidential these provisional
findings, when the executive committee of the JDS proposed to disclose them to a
third party.’

The disciplinary against E&Y began in 2004 when complaints were brought
by the profession’s disciplinary body.

Among the complaints were allegations that E&Y delivered unqualified
audit opinions when the accounts for 1990 to 1993 had not been properly
prepared, and that unqualified opinions were offered on accounts, which did not
represent a ‘true and fair view’, from 1994 to 2000.

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