MARKS & Spencer has parted ways with PwC, picking a new auditor for the first time since the FTSE 100 retailer became a public company in 1926.
M&S said yesterday it has appointed Deloitte as its new auditor following a competitive tender.
The switch comes at a time when the close and often decades-long relationship between auditors and their clients has come under increased scrutiny in the UK and abroad.
The Competition Commission wants big listed companies to put their audit contract out to tender at least once every ten years. European politicians are debating whether to go even further than this and introduce mandatory rotation. According to the watchdogs, these changes to audit rules would ensure open competition in a business that is dominated by the so-called big four: Deloitte, EY, KMPG and PwC.
M&S paid £3.1m for PwC’s work on the 2013 audit as well as other services during the year, according to its annual report.
The high street firm’s decision comes just days after fellow FTSE 100 company Unilever replaced PwC with KPMG on its book-keeping duties. A small but growing number of blue-chips have switched auditor this year.