Wolseley gives PwC the flush

THE WORLD’S largest plumbing supplies group Wolseley yesterday said it was changing auditors and hiring Deloitte to carry out its statutory audits, instead of rival PwC.

PwC has been the FTSE 100 company’s auditor since before it was listed in 1961 and the change, which is subject to approval by shareholders at the 2015 AGM, comes after a formal tender process.

Wolseley has almost 40,000 employees and ongoing revenue for the year ended 31 July 2014 was £12.8bn, ongoing trading profit was £761m.

In recent months investors have started to lose patience with companies who are too cosy with their auditors and risked losing independent analysis, so instead pushed for regular rotation, rather than endless reappointments.

The focus on auditor independence rose in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Questions were raised about why the big four accounting firms either failed to spot or failed to highlight mounting problems in the banking sector.

The US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, spoke last week about forcing firms to disclose their audit tenure.

Earlier in June Proctor & Gamble ended their 125 year-long audit relationship with Deloitte.

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