E&Y settles SEC independence claims

Ernst & Young has paid more than $2.9m (£1.5m) to settle US regulatory
claims it compromised its independence while auditing three companies.

the firm ‘engaged in improper professional conduct’ after an
original agreement in 2002 to create an audio series of recorded interviews
with industry leaders in collaboration with Mark Thompson.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Thompson is a
board member for three of the firms’ clients, however details of these clients
remains unknown.

The SEC cited E&Y’s chief operating officer, John Ferraro, for allowing
the violations and he in turn settled by pledging to refrain from similar
misconduct in the future. Thompson settled by agreeing to pay $123,900.

Charles Perkins, a spokesman at the firm’s New York-based office, said E
&Y has revised independence policies and procedures since the issue arose.

‘We remain committed to taking every possible step to maintain our
independence, which is the foundation of our audit work,’ he said.

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