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News September 2016 Formal complaints against KPMG LLP and members relating to Equity Red Star and Equity Syndicate Mana

Formal complaints against KPMG LLP and members relating to Equity Red Star and Equity Syndicate Management Limited

07 September 2016

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The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Executive Counsel has delivered disciplinary formal complaints under the Accountancy Scheme and the Actuarial Scheme in connection with the conduct of KPMG LLP, Mr Mark Taylor, Mr Anthony Hulse, members and a member firm of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), Mr Douglas Morgan, a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Mr James Rakow, a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

The formal complaints result from the FRC’s investigations in relation to the preparation and audit of Lloyd’s Syndicate 218 (Equity Red Star) Report and Accounts for the years ended 31 December 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the provision of actuarial advice to Equity Syndicate Management Limited (“ESML”) in relation to ESML’s reserving for Lloyds Syndicate 218 between 2007 and 2009, matters referred to the FRC in 2012.

The formal complaint against Mr Douglas Morgan, a former director of ESML alleges a failure to act with professional competence and due care in relation to reserving practices deployed by ESML and overseen by him during the period 2007–2009.

The allegations in the formal complaint in respect of KPMG, partner Mr. Mark Taylor (Audit Engagement Partner for Syndicate 218) and former partner Mr. Anthony Hulse (Audit Engagement Partner for IAG UK Holdings Limited, the then ultimate UK parent undertaking of the corporate member of Syndicate 218) concern the audit work carried out in respect of reserving, the sufficiency of evidence obtained and the unqualified opinions given. The complaints against KPMG and Mr. Taylor concern the financial years ending 2008 and 2009 and the complaints against Mr. Hulse concern the financial year ending 31 December 2009.

The formal complaint under the Actuarial Scheme concerns Mr James Rakow, an associate partner with Deloitte LLP, in connection with the provision by him of actuarial services to ESML and Syndicate 218 in respect of the financial years ending 31 December 2007, 2008, and 2009.

A date for a hearing before an independent Joint Tribunal will be announced in due course.

Notes to editors:

1.    The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment.  We are the UK competent authority for audit and set the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as well as UK standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work.  We represent UK interests in international standard-setting.  We also monitor and take action to promote the quality of corporate reporting and auditing.  We operate independent enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries; and oversee the regulatory activities of the accountancy and actuarial professional bodies.

2.  In relation to enforcement matters, in addition to its responsibilities as the Competent Authority for audit, the FRC is the independent, investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries in the UK dealing with cases which raise important issues affecting the public interest. In brief, the stages of these independent disciplinary processes are:

·         Decision to investigate
·         Investigation
·         Decision whether to bring enforcement proceedings against Member Firm or Member
·         Tribunal hearing
·         Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders
 
Under the Schemes the FRC can start a disciplinary investigation following a referral from a professional body or of its own accord. The Conduct Committee will decide to investigate where the criteria set out in the Schemes are met, i.e. where:
 
(i) the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom and (ii) there are reasonable grounds to suspect that there may have been Misconduct.
 
Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement division.
 

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