Changing of HSBC audit guard sees PwC emerge victorious

UNDER fire banking giant HSBC is set to kick its current auditor KPMG into touch after 24 years and appoint arch rival PwC.

KPMG failed in its bid to retain the lucrative account after a competitive tender for the audit.

The bank – Europe’s largest by market capitalisation – said the changing of the audit guard would be put to shareholders on 24 April at its 2015 annual general meeting. The appointment underscores PwC’s dominant UK audit position.

PwC’s appointment follows the Competition Commission’s decision to force companies to consider switching auditors every five years in an effort to foster more rivalry for top-level audit contracts.

As a result of the Competition Commission investigation and similar pressure being brought to bear by the FRC and in Europe, some of Britain’s largest companies have been replacing their auditors.

HSBC has been dogged in recent weeks by the tax evasion row that has engulfed the bank.

The announcement was made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday.



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