PracticeAccounting FirmsEquitable to sue E&Y

Equitable to sue E&Y

Equitable Life, the trouble life insurer, has said it will sue its former auditor Ernst & Young, in a claim that could cost the Big Five firm up to £2.6bn.

The lawsuit, which follows a report compiled by lawyers Herbert Smith last November, alleges negligence in the firm’s audit of the insurer after it ran into trouble after losing a legal battle over ‘guaranteed annuity rates’.

Herbert Smith wrote to E&Y asking it to explain its actions.

In a statement, the life insurer said: ‘The Society’s former auditors Ernst & Young have not provided a substantive reply. We have therefore started legal proceedings against them.’

But the firm has always maintained its audit was robust – it said: ‘For the record, we told Herbert Smith that they had not provided us with sufficient information for us to provide a ?substantive reply.’

It said it would be reviewing the details of the claim.

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