‘Market forces will break Big Four audit monopoly’

Norman Murray, the chairman of Cairn Energy and president of the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Scotland, has warned against a forced break-up of the
audit monopoly that the Big Four have over the UK’s biggest listed companies.

Speaking after attending the Financial Reporting Council’s second stakeholder
meeting on competition and choice in the UK audit market, Murray said: ‘We
should trust market forces to mould demand for audit services and already, since
the Oxera report was published, we can see significant moves being made.’

His comments follow the government-commissioned Oxera report, published in
April, which highlighted the fact that the Big Four audit 97% of FTSE 350
companies, and that many large plcs can only choose between two or three such

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