News October 2017 Closure of investigation into PwC in relation to Barclays Bank PLC and client asset rules

Closure of investigation into PwC in relation to Barclays Bank PLC and client asset rules

05 October 2017

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) today announces the closure of its investigation into the conduct of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC LLP) in relation to its role in reporting to the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) on Barclays Bank PLC’s compliance with the FSA’s client asset rules for the years ended 31 December 2007 to 31 December 2011.
The Executive Counsel to the FRC has concluded that there is not a realistic prospect that a Tribunal would make an Adverse Finding against PwC LLP in respect of the matters within the scope of the investigation. 
Notes to editors:

  1. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is the UK’s independent regulator responsible for promoting transparency and integrity in business.  The FRC sets the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes and UK standards for accounting and actuarial work; monitors and takes action to promote the quality of corporate reporting; and operates independent enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries. As the Competent Authority for audit in the UK the FRC sets auditing and ethical standards and monitors and enforces audit quality.

  2. In relation to enforcement matters, 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 the disciplinary process under the Accountancy Scheme are:

    • Decision to investigate

    • Investigation

    • Decision whether to bring enforcement proceedings against Member Firm or Member and, if so decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal

    • Tribunal hearing

    • Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders

  3. Under the Accountancy Scheme the FRC can start a disciplinary investigation in one of two ways: (i) the professional bodies can refer cases to the FRC; and (ii) the FRC may decide of its own accord to investigate a matter. The Conduct Committee will consider each case identified or referred to it and decide whether or not the criteria for an investigation are met.

  4. The criteria are specified in paragraph 5(1) of the Accountancy Scheme. A Member or Member Firm shall be liable to investigation under this Scheme only where, in the opinion of the Conduct Committee the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom and there are reasonable grounds to suspect that there may have been Misconduct or it appears that the Member or Member Firm has failed to comply with any of his or its obligations under paragraphs 14(1) or 14(2) of the Scheme.

  5. Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement division.