PwC called in by banks to report on embattled Versailles

The move follows yesterday’s withdrawal by Big Five rival KPMG,which was investigating Versailles’ accounting irregularities.

PwC’s involvement makes it the fifth firm in two months to become embroiled with Versailles. Three banks – NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays – which provide credit lines for the financier, called in the firm to examine the company’s books.

The three banks originally appointed KPMG in December following the suspension of Versailles’stock exchange listing in the same month.

It was also discovered that high-profile Versailles chief executive Carl Cushnie sold £29m of his stock in the company without revealing ongoing inquiries into Versailles by the DTI.

Additionally, Baker Tilly is undertaking an investigation for the stock exchange on Versailles’ accounting procedures after an inquiry by the Department of Trade and Industry originally uncovered the possible problems in August last year.

Baker Tilly’s draft findings – into apparent breaches of accounting rules governing off-balance sheet financing under FRS5 along with other irregularities – backed an earlier report by Levy Gee, which was hired by Versailles in light of the DTI concerns.

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