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Big Four finally held to account

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: October 2nd, 2011 The “Big Four” accountancy firms, whose complacency and dereliction of duty were major contributors to the banking crisis that tipped the UK into recession, could be getting their comeuppance at the hands of the European Union. The story of Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PWC […]

October 2nd, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Latest Articles | Read More »

Accountancy lost sight of its primary role to the detriment of us all

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date: July 11th, 2011 Accountancy has changed beyond recognition since the 1970s. At that time the accountancy professor Roy Sidebotham wrote: “There seems to be no limit to the optimism of businessmen… which the growing complexity of the market opens up. The first line of defence of investors and creditors is the […]

July 11th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Blog | Read More »

Steve Baker’s bill would expose banks’ false profits, overstated capital and hidden losses

June 26th, 2011   My work on the flawed nature of “mark-to-market” accounting and IFRS accounting standards has been included as supporting evidence in attempts by Steve Baker, the Conservative MP for Wycombe, to introduce to the UK parliament a private members bill that would transform how banks report their financial performance. Baker, a former Lehman […]

June 26th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The horse has bolted, but at least the Lords have started to clean out accountancy’s Augean stables

March 30th, 2011 Here is Lord MacGregor, a former Conservative chief secretary of the Treasury, unveiling the hard-hitting and long-awaited conclusions of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee’s report into audit profession. This is an inquiry I’ve been following with great interest and which I’ve written on Qfinance (Scrap mark-to-market accounting or face further […]

March 30th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Whistleblower alleges ‘largest sustained cooking of books in British financial history’

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: February 20th, 2011 A CORPORATE whistleblower’s eight-year battle over his claims that Scottish Widows policyholders were deprived of £1.5 billion during the Lloyds takeover is to be the subject of an English high court hearing. Graham Senior-Milne, a former internal auditor at Lloyds TSB and Scottish Widows, is […]

February 20th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Latest Articles | Read More »

Is the House of Lords’ Crisis Inquiry Putting the FCIC to Shame?

January 29th, 2011 The many inquiries into the financial crisis have turned over plenty of stones but have failed to find any smoking guns. But the House of Lords economic affairs committee’s inquiry “Auditors: market concentration and their role” is making strides in identifying and maybe rooting out the accounting shenanigans that lay at the […]

January 29th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Mark-to-market accounting a danger to capitalism

January 18th, 2011 The interrogation of Barclays’ newly-installed chief executive Bob Diamond by the Treasury committee of the House of Commons last Tuesday was an unsatisfactory affair. But it was followed by a much more productive parliamentary session in the UK — a meeting of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on the afternoon […]

January 18th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Moore: FSA lacks competence to investigate bank failures

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: January 16th, 2011 Paul Moore, former head group regulatory risk at HBOS-turned-whistleblower, has cast doubt on the rigour of the Financial Services Authority’s ongoing investigation into the collapse of the Edinburgh-based bank, on the grounds that informed critical witnesses have not been approached for evidence. Moore said he […]

January 16th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Latest Articles | Read More »

McKenna: Ten things you need to know about ‘Big Four’ audit firms

December 28th, 2010 I’ve long suspected that, at least where banking and financial sector clients are concerned, the ‘Big Four’ audit firms now see their role as being to pull the wool over investors’ eyes. The theory is about to be tested in the US courts, where Ernst & Young stands accused of fraud over […]

December 28th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Embedded financial journalism at its worst?

December 21st, 2010 Today’s biggest financial news story was that the New York attorney-general is suing the accountancy firm Ernst & Young for fraud following its alleged role in the cooking the Lehman Brothers books in the years prior to the investment bank’s September 2008 demise. I’d like to focus here on the way in […]

December 21st, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »