Auditors told to stand up to banks

Britain's company auditors should question management more closely about how their revenue forecasts stand up against a backdrop of poor economic conditions and weak markets, the industry's watchdog said today. Auditors are facing pressure to be more assertive with banks in particular after many gave lenders a clean bill of health in the run up to the financial crisis – just months before some of them had to be rescued by taxpayers. In its annual survey of audits, the Professional Oversight Board (POB) found that the "Big Four" – KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and Ernst & Young – all failed to be sceptical enough.