PracticeConsultingPwC backs SEC’s new stance on conflicts

PwC backs SEC's new stance on conflicts

Peter Hazell, UK managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said today that he was broadly happy with the US regulator's positional statement on tackling conflicts of interest in the profession.

Hazell told AccountancyAge.com that the speech today by SEC chairman Arthur Levitt contained few surprises and he welcomed Levitt’s suggestion that conflicts of interest within the profession centered on ‘perception’.

Speaking in New York, Levitt said the SEC should be able to make rules to clarify activities and called for support for a plan by the US profession’s overseer – the Public Oversight Board – to enhance its powers and responsibilities.

Hazell stressed that the speech was very much a ‘US speech’ about ‘US rules’ and he added: ‘This was directional rather destinational. He didn’t say “this isn’t where we wanted to get to”.’

Backing the SEC’s ‘continued support for self-regulation in the accountancy profession’, Hazell also welcomed Levitt’s suggestion that personal investment rules should be altered.

But he urged the SEC to go no further than encouraging disclosure among firms. ‘We don’t support further rule making,’ he said.

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