Accountancy regulator to probe PwC audit of Berkeley last year

City A.M. Reporter
THE UK accounting watchdog said yesterday it has opened an investigation into whether PwC was acting independently when it checked the books of UK house builder Berkeley Group.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said that the probe would look at PwC’s audit of Berkeley’s financial statements for the year ended 30 April 2012, as a result of a former PwC partner joining Berkeley’s board.

PwC, still Berkeley’s auditor, confirmed it had received a letter from the FRC saying an investigation has begun.

“We will continue to fully cooperate with the FRC’s enquiries. We take our independence responsibilities very seriously,” PwC said in a statement.

Berkeley chairman Tony Pidgley said he was told on Friday about the investigation into the role of non-executive director Glyn Barker.

“As far as we’re concerned Glyn has had a very distinguished career and we are very pleased to have him on the board,” Pidgley said. Barker joined the board in January 2012.