Hargreaves hits out at auditors

FINANCIAL services firm Hargreaves Lansdown has dropped Deloitte as its auditor, appointing PwC for the 2014 financial year.

The group also criticised the closeness of firms with their auditors. CEO Ian Gorham said: “Failing to seek fresh expert challenge should be a source of embarrassment.”

Hargreaves Lansdown has used Deloitte’s services since 2006, and the company’s board thanked them for the quality of their work.

The firm noted that 95 per cent of FTSE 350 companies were assessed by the big four auditors – PwC, KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte – suggesting that a lack of competition could cause problems. “The Board recognises the potential familiarity risk of having the same auditors for a prolonged period,” the firm added.

The Competition Commission last week set out its plans to open up the statutory audit market to smaller players.