Big Five – JDS opens BCCI inquiry into Price Waterhouse

PricewaterhouseCoopers is facing the threat of another multimillion-pound fine, after the profession’s watchdog said this week it would begin investigating Price Waterhouse’s role as auditor to the collapsed banking giant BCCI.

The move follows the lifting of an injunction – granted by the Court of Appeal in 1993 – that prevented the Joint Disciplinary Scheme from making any enquiries until other cases against PW had been settled.

These included legal proceedings brought by Deloitte & Touche on behalf of the bank’s creditors. PwC settled the case out of court last year, paying the firm #60m in compensation. Last month, solicitors told the JDS it could start its investigations.

JDS executive counsel Chris Dickson said: ‘We will be examining the conduct and competence of PW in relation to BCCI, and will be trying to get this done as quickly as possible.’

A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment but said it was up to the JDS to plan its next move.

BCCI collapsed in 1991, amid allegations of fraud, when the bank ran up debts of around #13bn.

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