The Financial Reporting Council could be funded by the Treasury if plans to
abolish the Department of Trade and Industry go ahead.
Reports at the weekend indicated that chancellor Gordon Brown was looking to
get rid of the DTI, which has lost relevance with the decline of manufacturing.
Industry insiders expect the Treasury to take over in the wake of any such
change, carrying worries for the profession, which has a strained relationship
with the Treasury due to tax avoidance.
FRC chief executive Paul Boyle said: ‘The responsibility could be transferred
to the Treasury which has close interest in accounting matters. But even if the
DTI continued to exist, the FRC itself could get different funders on board,
much in the way the pensions regulator and Financial Services Authority have.’
PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Peter Wyman warned: ‘If it ended up in a
department that didn’t see business and the profession as core to its mission,
then this would be worrying.’
A DTI spokeswoman declined to speculate as to who would take over the
function of funding the FRC, which receives a third of its support from the
department. In addition to government funding, the FRC gets a third of funding
from listed companies, and the profession’s institutes.
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