‘I have never had an approach from a mid-tier [firm],’ she said in an
interview with Accountancy Age.
That mid-tier firms have not pitched for Lloyds TSB may be unsurprising. Bank
audits are notoriously complicated and involve many jurisdictions, and mid-tier
firms admit they do not have the resources and reach to take them on.
The lack of tenders for the Kingfisher contract may be more surprising,
however. Weir was group FD at Kingfisher, the retailer, for four years from
Steve Maslin, head of external professional affairs at Grant Thornton, the
mid-tier firm, said that the mid-tier were best off leaving large bank and
insurance company audits to the Big Four.
But he added that there were a further 1,000 or so firms further down in
terms of market capitalisation ‘where certain firms are at least as well if not
better suited to audit’.
Maslin suggested that the situation had changed dramatically since Weir moved
to Lloyds: ‘For 20 years we felt we were banging our head on a brick door. There
wasn’t the appetite. The environment has changed in the last 18 months.’
Read the full interview with Helen Weir
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