Indie boss lashes out at Big Four auditor

Michael Bright has attempted to heap blame on KPMG as he took the stand in
the Independent Insurance trial.

He lashed out at the Big Four firm, stating that despite the books being
signed off there was ‘no thoroughness involved.’

Bright stood in the dock at Southwark Crown Court, describing the company’s
accounts as a ‘mystery quagmire’.

Together with former FD Dennis Lomas and ex-chairman Philip Condon he stands
accused on counts of conspiracy to defraud and one count of fraudulent trading.

For the period between January 1997 and June 17 2001, the trio deny that they
conspired to give directors, shareholders and other interested parties a false
impression of the company’s financial position.

Three months before the Indie’s collapse in 2001, the company said it had
made £22.2m in profit despite it being a difficult year in terms of paying out

In 1998, the Indie was beset by problems in its London Markets division when
the link between the industry’s claims logging system and the Indie’s IRIS
accounting software platform went down. Two staff then had to process the claims
manually causing a huge backlog. The defendants claim that it was this that
gave them a false impression of the company’s finances.

Bright said that if KPMG had ‘taken a dozen claims and checked that they were
going into the system … then they would have got to the problems in London
much earlier.’

The case continues.

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