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UK: New CMA chair warns of probe on Big 4

 |  April 24, 2018

According to a report by the Financial Times, the new chair of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has signalled his intention to probe the four biggest accountancy firms, observing their work could sometimes appear to be “money for old rope.”

Andrew Tyrie, a former Conservative MP who begins his new role in June, said the apparent lack of competition in the audit market was “certainly” something that needed to be looked at. “There must be a competition aspect, there are only four of them, there used to be five, if you go down to three some would . . . consider it an oligopoly.”

Mr Tyrie, who was being quizzed by MPs on parliament’s business committee, said his concerns about the market went back as far as the financial crash and even “predated” it.

“I remember when I was actually for a while chair of audit at a public company . . . sometimes thinking [of the auditors]: ‘this is money for old rope’. . . They’d come in, give us some figures we’d given them, collect a cheque and go home,” he said, before adding sardonically: “I’m sure it’s all much better now.”

Full Content: Financial Times

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