Record fine for PwC’s JP Morgan audit

A RECORD FINE has been dished out to PwC over its audit work at JP Morgan.

The firm was fined £1.4m for failing to flag up non-segregation of JP Morgan Securities Limited’s client assets for seven years to 2008.

The fine, issued by the Financial Reporting Council’s disciplinary arm the Accounting and Actuarial discipline board (AADB), trumps the £1.2m fine issued to PwC predecessor firm Coopers and Lybrand for its audit work of Robert Maxwell’s businesses.

PwC accepted that its conduct had, in relation to the reports it prepared and submitted to the FSA for the years ended 31 December 2002 to 31 December 2008, had “fallen short of the standards reasonably to be expected of members and member firms”.

The firm accepted it had failed to carry out its professional work with due skill, care and diligence and with proper regard for the “applicable technical and professional standards expected of it”, the report stated.

The tribunal raised concern that no PwC partner was named in relation to the audit work or had been proceeded against by the AADB’s executive counsel.

“…We must simply trust that there has been no bargaining of PwCs admission against an agreement no anonymity of individuals in the firm, among whom the engagement partner must be numbered, who are responsible for this serious state of affairs,” stated the Tribunal in its findings.

In a hearing to discuss the level of fine last November the AADB’s counsel had called for a sanction in the millions of pounds.

More to follow.

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