PracticeAuditDTI investigates Big Four ‘monopoly’

DTI investigates Big Four 'monopoly'

Demands from investors have prompted the Department of Trade to say it will consider their calls for a Competition Commission inquiry into the workings of the Big Four firms.

Bold: Clamour grows for Big Four ‘monopoly’ probe

A government review, run by DTI’s Jacqui Smith, discovered that many investors were opposed to a liability cap for auditors, with many emphatically declaring there was a lack of competition in the market.

Both Morley Fund Management and the National Association of Pension Funds claimed the accounting profession would benefit from a commission inquiry into the Big Four, with Morley insisting that these firms act as a ‘complex monopoly’.

A DTI spokeswoman confirmed that all responses to the consultation, which closed earlier this month, would be carefully considered and that decisions would be made based on the arguments presented.

‘The point of the consultation was for people to show us evidence of how, why and where it isn’t working and give us suggestions on how to improve the situation,’ said the spokeswoman. But one representative of the Big Four argued that the calls for an inquiry were unnecessary.

‘Nothing would be achieved by another inquiry, this ground has been crawled over several times,’ said Neil Lerner, UK head of risk management at KPMG.

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