The UK’s accounting regulator has opened an investigation into the auditor of collapsed supply chain finance firm Greensill.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) today said it had launched a probe into Saffery Champness for its audit of Greensill’s financial statements in 2019.
It will also scrutinise PwC over its 2019 audit of Wyelands Bank, which is owned by steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance. Wyelands funded GFG, which was closely linked to Greensill.
“We will cooperate fully with the FRC in its enquiries,” PwC said in a statement. “We share the FRC’s commitment to audit quality and are two years into a wide-ranging programme to enhance audit quality across the firm.”
Saffery Champness said it was cooperating fully with the accounting watchdog.
Greensill collapsed in March saying that GFG — its largest client — had started to default on its debts, sparking concerns about the future of Gupta’s empire.
The Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into GFG over “suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering” within the group, including in its financing arrangements with Greensill.
Earlier this year the Bank of England also forced Wyelands to pay back £210m of deposits to around 4,000 customers amid concerns about how the bank was financing GFG.
Last month the Bank’s deputy governor Sam Woods said an investigation into Wyelands and whether Gupta was “fit and proper” to be its owner was continuing.