The top five auditors in
Alternative Investment Market saw their combined customer base shrink by
more than £5bn by market cap in the three months from November to February,
according to new data.
Fourteen of the top 20 auditing firms lost clients, figures from investment
research company Hemscott have shown.
Grant Thornton, which has the most AIM-listed audit clients, has been hit
hardest. The UK’s fifth biggest audit firm saw the market capitalisation of its
customer base fall by about £1.3bn. KPMG saw its customer base shrink by £1.1bn,
and Ernst & Young by £664m.
Hemscott said the dip in the AIM market was more ‘severe’ in its latest
survey than the previous quarter.
‘The tide has certainly turned for perennial leader Grant Thornton, which
fared best when the AIM market was expanding and is now more vulnerable to the
downturn,’ the Hemscott survey said.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has held its lead in the FTSE-100 and small cap
markets with 39 and 98 audit clients respectively. However, Deloitte has edged
ahead of PwC in the FTSE-250 market.
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