FRC to investigate Saffery Champness for Greensill audit

The Financial Reporting Council kicked off an investigation into Saffery Champness over its audit of now collapsed supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital.

In a statement on 28 June, the regulator said the decision to investigate the firm’s audit for the year ended 31 December 2019 was taken at a meeting of its conduct committee earlier this month.

The investigation by the audit watchdog is the latest in the fallout following Greensill Capital’s collapse, which has impacted every corner of the City from government to banks. Founded by ex-banker Lex Greensill in 2011, the firm filed for bankruptcy in March after it lost the credit insurance that was crucial to its business.

The FRC’s investigation will be carried out by its enforcement division. A spokesperson for Saffery Champness said it “will of course be cooperating fully with the FRC”.

READ ‘Lobbying is a healthy part of democracy’, Cameron tells MPs in Greensill inquiry

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, who was an adviser to the firm, has faced scrutiny for his lobbying of government on behalf of Greensill.

Andrew Bailey, the former head of the Financial Conduct Authority and now governor of the Bank of England, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have also been questioned on their interactions with the Greensill Capital following the revelations of Cameron’s lobbying.

READ Audit regulator could boost headcount 70% as boss fears FRC will be ‘spread too thin’

Separately, the FRC also announced it has launched an investigation into PwC in relation to its audit of the financial statements of Wyelands Bank for the year ending 30 April 2019.

A spokesperson for PwC said: “It’s understandable that there is regulatory scrutiny in situations like this. We will cooperate fully with the FRC in its enquiries. We share the FRC’s commitment to audit quality and are two years into a wide-ranging programme to enhance audit quality across the firm.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

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