The Scots ICA has confirmed it is still talking to other Big Five firms following Ernst & Young’s decision to defect from the English ICA, writes Gavin Hinks. Institute acting chief executive Ian Marrian was speaking on one his first trips to London since E&Y made public its decision. Marrian could not say whether other firms were planning similar moves: ‘All five firms have been talking to us. There’s interest but I don’t think other firms will go to the extent that E&Y has gone.’ KPMG has made it clear it is advising new trainees to study with the Scots ICA and Marrian said numbers were set to continue rising. ‘If you project this forward we are going to have a greatly increased number of new members and a great number of them will be in England and Wales,’ he said. E&Y’s move increased the institute’s student roll from 400 to 650. Staffing levels will increase by 50% as a result. Despite such a substantial improvement in numbers Marrian said the institute remained an organisation with a ‘no-growth philosophy’ and that it did not see itself in direct competition for students with the English ICA.