PracticeAccounting FirmsCoopers fined in Barings disciplinary

Coopers fined in Barings disciplinary

An appeal tribunal for the profession's senior watchdog today upheld its findings against Coopers & Lybrand for the firm's role as auditor in the collapse of Barings.

A Joint Discplinary Scheme statement published today said: ‘As the Appeal Tribunal said of them, the belief that Mr Leeson’s trading activities “posed little (or no) risk to the Barings Group, but yielded very good returns, is implausible and in our view, demonstrates a degree of ignorance of market reality that totally lacks credibility.”‘

Complaints against Coopers audit engagement partner Andrew Charles Turner were however dismissed. And the original fine against Coopers was reduced by the appeal tribunal from £1m to £250,000. A fine against Gareth Maldwyn Davies, also a Coopers partner, was reduced from £65,000 to £25,000.

Barings bank collapsed in 1995 amid unauthorised transactions in excess of £800m by rogue trader Nick Leeson.

A statement issued by the PricewaterhouseCoopers said: ‘We are disappointed by the tribunal findings. We feel it is important to reemphasise that the Barings collapse was due to fraud and management failure in which Coopers & Lybrand played no part.’The appeal tribunal has confirmed that Coopers & Lybrand could not have prevented the collapse of Barings and that the firm carried out much skilled and detailed work to a high standard.’

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