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The Scottish bank’s decision is a major coup for Deloittes and a blow for PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.

PwC’s size is understood to have been a major driver behind the decision. Had it retained the contract it would have audited three of the biggest clearing banks.

It already audits Lloyds TSB and Barclays Bank, while KPMG is auditor to HSBC and Halifax.

PwC lost the Abbey National audit contract last year after fears about the concentration of financial services audits in its hands.

An accountant hit the headlines last week as venture capital group Alchemy launched its audacious bid to take over Rover cars.

Its managing partner, Jon Moulton, is a chartered accountant who spent a large part of the eighties working at Coopers & Lybrand.

Last week’s dramas at Rover brought the accounting policies inflicted on Rover by its German parent under the spotlight once again.

The German accounting standards have the effect of increasing Rover’s loss figures by millions of pounds – not good for the beleagured carmaker’s image and its chances of future survival.

An Accountancy Age analysis last year revealed that between 1994 and 97 Rover made a profit of £147m according to under UK accounting rules, while German accounting rules showed the company making a loss of £363m.

There is still a day left to enter’s pre-Budget competitions in which you could win £100 worth of theatre tickets or a crate of pink champage. Just visit the homepage.

We will be covering the Budget live tomorrow afternoon.

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