Do we need a Europe-wide audit regulator: Barnier

The European Union’s finance chief has raised the possibility of a pan-Europe
audit watchdog, promising to issue a paper on the subject by Autumn.

Michel Barnier, EU internal market commissioner, said it was the “right time
” to launch a debate in Europe on audit, following the financial crisis,

He also cited the damaging Valukas report into the collapse of Lehman
Brothers, which accused the US bank’s auditors Ernst & Young of being
“professionally negligent”.

E&Y refutes the claims and had defended its audit.

Barnier referred to “questions recently raised in the context of the audit of
the accounts of the American bank Lehman Brothers.”

Barnier said global audit firms had global structures but not global

“While the large audit firms have centralised their management and
decision-making structures at European level, their supervision continues to be
done on a national basis,” Barnier said.

“It is time to launch the debate and work towards the reinforcement of the
supervision of audit firms at European level.”

Read the full
executive says auditors need wider scrutiny

Further reading:
IASB concerns voiced at global meeting

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